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Enhancement of optical gain and amplified spontaneous emission due to waveguide geometry in the conjugated polymer poly[2-methoxy-5-(2′-ethylhexyloxy)-p-phenylene vinylene]
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We report enhanced amplified spontaneous emission (ASE) and optical gain performance in a conjugated polymer (CP)-based thin film waveguide (WG) Si(100)/SiO2/poly[2-methoxy-5-(2′-ethylhexyloxy)-p-phenylene vinylene] (MEH-PPV) by encapsulating the active layer with a transparent dielectric film of poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA). With index matched SiO2 and PMMA claddings, symmetric WGs are formed that exhibit increased mode confinement and reduced propagation loss enabling lower ASE threshold (40%) and higher optical gain (50%) compared to Si(100)/SiO2/MEH-PPV/air asymmetric WGs. An extremely large net gain coefficient of 500 cm−1 is achieved under picosecond pulse excitation, which is >4× larger than values previously reported in the literature. Fabrication of symmetric WGs requires no complex processing techniques, thus offering a simple, low-cost approach for effectively controlling the ASE behavior of CP-based WGs and related optical devices.
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