As a novel base material for low-loss graded index plastic optical fibers (GI POFs) in gigabit home networks, a copolymer of methyl methacrylate (MMA) and pentafluorophenyl methacrylate (PFPMA) was prepared and its thermal and optical properties were investigated. When the PFPMA content in the monomer feed was 0-50 mol%, both the glass transition temperature (Tg) and the decomposition temperature of the copolymer were higher than that for PMMA, which is the base material for many commercially available POFs. The transmittance of the copolymer was also found to be higher than that of PMMA since it has fewer C-H bonds per unit volume. As the core material of GI POFs, MMA-co-PFPMA (65/35 mol%), which had the highest Tg of 118 °C was utilized. A low-loss GI POF with an attenuation of 172-185 dB/km at the emission wavelengths of a high-speed light source (670-680 nm) was successfully obtained for the first time.
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