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”Nonlinear Optical Materials & DoD Device Requirements”

Brian G. Kushner, John A Neff

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ABSTRACTWithin the past several years, the development of advanced materials with large second and third order nonlinear (X2 and X3) effects has generated interest in developing devices to exploit these properties in military systems of the future. This interest has taken many forms, from the funding of basic research aimed at developing enhanced nonlinear optical effects in materials to the deployment of actual mil-spec devices. Two years ago, at this same forum, we delineated a series of materials performance requirements which, if achieved, would allow device developers to take maximum advantage of these nonlinear effects in such disciplines as optical computing, optoelectronic interconnects and sensor protection. In the interim, DoD requirements for advanced materials and devices have continued to accentuate the need for advanced nonlinear optical materials. This paper will discuss some of the most recent trends in nonlinear optical materials research from a device requirements perspective, including an overview of the results of the recent DARPA forum on nonlinear optical materials and a discussion of future directions. As in the previous paper, we will confine ourselves to three challenging areas: nonlinear optical materials for optical computing applications, materials for computer peripherals and internode communications, and materials for sensor protection.