Organic Optical Limiter with a Strong Nonlinear Absorptive Response

Science  13 Sep 1996:
Vol. 273, Issue 5281, pp. 1533-1536
DOI: 10.1126/science.273.5281.1533


Molecules with weak ground-state absorption that form strongly absorbing excited states can be used in optical limiters, which can protect sensors or human eyes from optical damage. Phthalocyanine complexes bearing heavy atoms or paramagnetic groups or in solvents containing heavy atoms show optical limiting enhanced by excited triplet-state absorption. A nonhomogeneous distribution of indium tetra(tert-butyl)phthalocyanine chloride along the beam path substantially enhances the excited-state absorption, yielding an optical limiter with a linear transmittance of 0.70 that can attenuate 8-nanosecond, 532-nanometer laser pulses by factors of up to 540.