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Li+ and N+ ions were implanted into aliphatic polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA), polyvinylalcohol (PVA), and aromatic polyimide (PI) polycarbonate (PC) polymers in the energy range of 100–130 keV. Planar optical waveguides guiding between one and three modes were formed. For low implantation doses (≤ 1014 ions/cm2), total waveguide loss values at λ=633 nm were found to be less than 2 dB/cm. The changes in the refractive index were found to be very large (Δn≥0.05) in the case of PMMA and PVA. We interpret this change in refractive index as being due to the formation of aromatic compounds in the regions of electronic scattering.