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1.1 MATHMATICS, 1.3 PHYSICAL SCIENCES
In this paper we identify and explain the different chemical interactions involved between a sol–gel matrix and photoinitiators used in the fabrication of optical waveguides. A well-established sol–gel matrix composed of 3-methacryloxypropyltrimethoxysilane, zirconium n-propoxide and methacrylic acid was developed, and two different photoinitiators (Irgacure® 819 and 1800) were added to the host matrix. Optical microscopy was used to characterise the structure of the waveguides as a function of the photoinitiator nature and concentration, and aging of the hybrid sol–gel material. It is clearly demonstrated that the width of the waveguides is strongly influenced by the sol aging. Furthermore, it is shown that degradation of photoinitiators occurs during the sol–gel process. Oxidation of the phosphonyl groups by the zirconium complex accounts for this results.
Oubaha, M. et al. (2008) Waveguide Fabrication In UV-Photocurable Sol–Gel Materials: Influence Of The Photoinitiating System, Thin Solid Films, 516 (2008) 6448–6457 doi:10.1016/j.tsf.2008.02.028