Lightwave Logic Inc. is banking on the potential of organic polymers to compete with metallic semiconductors in optoelectronics applications. The company recently began passive testing of ridge waveguide modulators fabricated using its proprietary organic multichromophore polymer material. Meanwhile, the company said the material has surpassed 2,000 hours of photochemical stability testing. Photochemical stability refers to the ability of an optical material to withstand constant excitation from a light source without degradation of its optoelectronic characteristics. "Our electro-optic materials are performing exceedingly well, and the photochemical results confirm the overall stability of our material systems," said Tom Zelibor, chairman and CEO of Lightwave Logic. "The fabrication of these devices clears yet another important milestone and moves us one step closer to our goal of demonstrating that organic polymer photonics can offer the same consistency and reliability as inorganic-based photonic devices," Zelibor said. "Polymer photonic devices significantly improve data rates at a fraction of the cost of traditional infrastructure devices based upon indium phosphide, lithium niobate and gallium arsenide, which are widely used today." A ridge waveguide modulator is composed of one or more ridge waveguides that are typically uniform and rectangular structures with either one or two etched ridges to carry a light source. They are primarily used in telecommunications networks to convert electrical signals into pulses of light for optical transmission. Passive testing will involve demonstrating the waveguide's ability to transmit light from one end of the device to the other, as well as the waveguide structure's integrity. The company next plans to fabricate active devices for modulation testing. Commercially viable organic polymer waveguides could be used as alpha validation devices in 100-Gb/s communications applications. The company estimates the market for such devices at more than $300 million per year. Lightwave Logic is a development-stage company exploring next-generation photonic devices and nonlinear optical polymer materials systems for applications in high-speed fiber optic data communications and optical computing. For more information, visit www.lightwavelogic.com.