New statistical mechanical methods for treating the many-body, spatially-anisotropic interactions among high dipole moment chromophores have been developed and applied to defining the critical structure/function relationships relevant to optimizing the electro-optic activity of organic materials. These methods predict the dependence of electro-optic activity on molecular shape, the surrounding nanostructured architecture, and upon processing conditions. Using this theoretical guidance, we have prepared nanostructured materials with record electro-optic activity (e.g.,>100 pm/V at telecommunications wavelengths–5 times greater than that of lithium niobate). These new materials have been used to fabricate a wide range of devices, operating with drive voltages of less than 1 volt and bandwidths in the range 40-200 GHz, relevant to telecommunications, data processing, defense, and transportation. This research has played a role in the award of several National Science Foundation and Department of Defense research centers at the University of Washington in the past year and the award of a State advanced Technology Initiative in Photonics.
Dr. Larry Dalton received his B.S. and M.S. at Honors College of Michigan State University in 1965 and 1966 respectively. In 1971 Dr. Dalton received his Ph.D. at Harvard University. He was a faculty member in the chemistry departments of Vanderbilt University and SUNY, Stony Brook from 1971 through 1982. Professor Dalton is currently a Harold & Lillian Professor of Chemistry at the University of Southern California, as well as a Professor of Chemistry at the University of Washington and an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering. Dr. Dalton is the Director of the new UW National Science Foundation Science & Technology center on Materials & Devices for Information Technology Research, as well as a leader on other major projects. Professor Dalton has received a number of professional honors including the 2003 Chemistry of Material Award of the American Chemical Society, 2002 Inaugural Lecturer of the National Science Foundation Distinguished Lecture Series, and the 2000 Distinguished Alumni Award of Michigan State University. Professor Dalton’s research focuses on the interdisciplinary field of materials chemistry with particular emphasis on high technology electronic, electro-optic, and nonlinear optical materials and emphasis on nanoscale materials and architectural construction techniques.