High RI Polymers

High Refractive Index Polymers for Infrared Optics and Photonics

We have pioneered the development of ultra-high refractive polymers derived from the inverse vulcanization of elemental sulfur as the first class of optical polymers for infrared imaging and IR photonics.  These polymers are termed, Chalcogenide Hybrid Inorganic/Organic Polymers (CHIPs) as a hybrid from elemental chalcogenides, such as, sulfur, selenium with organic comonomers.


We have a diverse and highly collaborative research term at the interface of synthetic organic chemistry, polymer chemistry, computational chemistry and optical sciences to prepare novel optical polymers and fabrication of these materials into plastic optics and photonic devices.


We have been recently awarded multi-PI grant for using computational chemistry thru the NSF and AFRL DMREF program to accelerate development of new IR polymers (~$2M USD for 4-yrs)


Key publications:

Pyun, J. Adv. Mater. 2014, 26, 3014; ACS Macro Letters, 2015, 4, 862; ACS Macro Lett. 2016, 5, 1152; ACS Macro Lett. 2017, 6, 500; ACS Macro Lett. 2018, 7, 875; Angew. Chem. Int. Ed.. 2019, 58, 17656; ACS Macro Lett. 2020, 9, 245; Science Advances 2020, 6, eabb5320; Adv. Opt. Mater. 2022, 10, 2200176.