Design of organic chromophores for all-optical signal processing applications

Joel M. Hales*, Stephen Barlow, Hyeongeu Kim, Sukrit Mukhopadhyay, Jean Luc Brédas, Joseph W. Perry, Seth R. Marder

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

122 Scopus citations


Organic materials possess many key attributes that make them suitable for exploitation in all-optical signal processing applications including facile tunability of their optical properties, strong and ultrafast nonlinear optical response, and potential for integration into device structures. In this perspective, we present molecular design guidelines for organic chromophores that could serve as the active constituents for such materials. Using a relatively simple model, a candidate class of chromophores, namely cyanine-like polymethines, is identified based on promising microscopic nonlinear optical properties in the near-IR spectral region. The challenges associated with translating these microscopic properties into materials with macroscopic properties suitable for device applications are presented along with molecular engineering approaches for overcoming these hurdles.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)549-560
Number of pages12
JournalChemistry of Materials
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 14 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • all-optical signal processing
  • all-optical switching
  • cyanines
  • nonlinear optical materials
  • polyenes
  • polymethines
  • silicon-organic hybrids

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Materials Chemistry


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