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Publication Details

Applied Optics, Vol. 52, Issue 3, January 2013.

This paper was published in Applied Optics and is made available as an electronic reprint with the permission of OSA. The paper can be found at the following URL on the OSA website: . Systematic or multiple reproduction or distribution to multiple locations via electronic or other means is prohibited and is subject to penalties under law.


The composition of the low-toxicity, environmentally compatible diacetone acrylamide (DA) photopolymer has been modified with the inclusion of different additives. The addition of glycerol to the photopolymer composition is described. Results show that the incorporation of glycerol results in a uniform maximum refractive-index modulation for recording intensities in the range of 1–20  mW/cm2. This may be attributed to glycerol’s nature as a plasticizer, which allows for faster diffusion of an unreacted monomer within the grating during holographic recording. An optimum recording intensity of 0.5  mW/cm2 is observed for exposure energies of 20–60  mW/cm2. The modified photopolymer achieves a refractive-index modulation of 2.2×10−3, with diffraction efficiencies up to 90% in 100 μm layers. Glycerol has also shown to reduce the rate of photobleaching of the DA photopolymer. This is possibly due to more prevalent inhibition effects caused by increased oxygenation of the photopolymer layers. The stability of the photopolymer samples is also improved with the addition of glycerol.