Linear phosphorus-nitrogen based polymers have been synthesized and deposited as thin films from solution on silica or silicon substrates using dip-coating or spin-casting methods. Most materials transmit well into the ultraviolet region of the spectrum and have refractive indices (1.5 to 1.7 at 500 nm) which are controlled by the functionality of chemical substituents introduced at the phosphorus atom. Films exposed to pulsed laser irradiation (1064 nm, 8ns pulsewidth) exhibit damage morphologies ranging from severe cratering to delamination. The chloro-substituted polymer shows a spheroidal surface morphology after exposure to a 25 J/cm2 pulse suggesting melting or condensation of ablated material. The relative stability of these materials to laser irradiation will be discussed in terms of chemical bond ionicity which is influenced by atom electronegativity and the nature of substituent groups. Preliminary measurements of the non-linear optical response observed in several of these materials (SHG) will also be discussed.
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