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Journal of Optics, IOP Science

Tatsiana Mikulchyk , Suzanne Martin, Izabela Naydenova, 2013 J. Opt. 15 105301 doi:10.1088/2040-8978/15/10/105301


This paper explores the effects of humidity on gratings recorded in a polyvinylalcohol–acrylamide photopolymer medium. Investigation of the behaviour of transmission gratings exposed to high humidity is of significant interest for two reasons, firstly because the grating's sensitivity to humidity can be exploited for the development of irreversible humidity indicators, secondly because too much sensitivity to humidity can limit the use of these materials in applications where an environmentally stable hologram is needed. In this paper we focus on the effect of high humidity on the properties of volume phase transmission gratings recorded in PVA/AA photopolymer layers in the temperature range 8–24 ° C. It has been found that although exposure to humidity changes the diffraction efficiency and Bragg angle of gratings, the effects are fully reversible if the temperatures are kept low. For example, when gratings were subjected to relative humidities of 80% and 90% at a temperature of 8 ° C the observed changes were fully reversible. However, irreversible changes in diffraction efficiency, thickness, refractive index modulation and Bragg angle were observed when the temperature during the humidity exposure was higher than 16 ° C. The magnitude of the irreversible changes depends strongly on the ambient temperature during the humidity exposure, the humidity level and also on the duration of the humidity exposure.



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