Abstract

Injection-molded polycarbonate substrates are used predominantly in read-only, write-once, phase-change and magneto-optic disks for data storage. The in-plane and vertical birefringences of these substrates adversely affect the performance of optical data-storage systems. The disks are typically expected to operate in the ambient temperature range of 5–50 °C. We have investigated the behavior of the in-plane and vertical birefringences of a polycarbonate disk substrate in this temperature range using a custom-built ellipsometer. This study reveals that the in-plane birefringence changes dramatically within the investigated range of temperatures, whereas the vertical birefringence remains essentially constant. We suspect that the change in birefringence is due primarily to thermally induced stress in the substrate.

© 1996 Optical Society of America

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