The development of a single mode fiber-based pulsed laser with variable pulse duration, energy, and repetition rate has enabled the characterization of photorefractive polymer (PRP) in a previously inaccessible regime located between millisecond and microsecond single pulse illumination. With the addition of CW and nanosecond pulse lasers, four wave mixing measurements covering 9 orders of magnitudes in pulse duration are reported. Reciprocity failure of the diffraction efficiency according to the pulse duration for a constant energy density is observed and attributed to multiple excitation, transport and trapping events of the charge carriers. However, for pulses shorter than 30 μs, the efficiency reaches a plateau where an increase in energy density no longer affects the efficiency. This plateau is due to the saturation of the charge generation at high peak power given the limited number of sensitizer sites. The same behavior is observed in two different types of devices composed of the same material but with or without a buffer layer covering one electrode, which confirm the origin of these mechanisms. This new type of measurement is especially important to optimize PRP for applications using short pulse duration.
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