Abstract

Using transmittance imaging microscopy, we measure the wavelength dependence of reversible photodegradation in disperse orange 11 (DO11) dye-doped (poly)methyl-methacrylate (PMMA). The reversible and irreversible inverse quantum efficiencies (IQEs) are found to be constant over the spectral region investigated, with the average reversible IQE being B¯α=8.70(±0.38)×105 and the average irreversible IQE being B¯ε=1.396(±0.031)×108. The large difference between the IQEs is hypothesized to be due to the reversible decay channel being a direct decay mechanism of the dye, while the irreversible decay channel is an indirect mechanism, with the dye first absorbing light, then heating the surrounding environment causing polymer chain scission and cross linking. Additionally, DO11/PMMA’s irreversible IQE is found to be among the largest of those reported for organic dyes, implying that the system is highly photostable. We also find that the recovery rate is independent of wavelength, with a value of β¯=3.88(±0.47)×103min1. These results are consistent with the correlated chromophore domain model of reversible photodegradation.

© 2015 Optical Society of America

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