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We describe an interdigital linear electro‐optic modulator produced from a novel polymer. The polymer was formed into a thin phase grating by simultaneous application of heat and a periodic electric field. The first maximum generated by diffraction of 633‐nm HeNe laser light passing through the grating was electrically modulated to a depth of over 17%. The performance of the modulator is compared with a quadratic electro‐optic modulator having the same electrode structure but where the polymer was replaced by nitrobenzene. It is estimated that the application of a thermopoling field strength of 20 V/μm to the polymer would impart a linear electro‐optic coefficient of about 30 pm/V, which is comparable to the largest coefficient of lithium niobate.