Applied Physics Letters

Temperature dependence of the third-order nonlinear optical susceptibilities in polysilanes and polygermanes

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Optical third-harmonic generation was used to measure third-order nonlinear susceptibilities χ(3) for thin films of planar zigzag polysilanes and polygermanes. A χ(3) of 11.3×10 -12 esu was measured, the largest value ever reported for a polymer with transparency throughout the visible. The value of χ(3) was found to vary substantially with thermally induced reversible changes in polymer backbone conformation and also with film thickness.