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Local gratings due to angular hole burning in a photorefractive polymer

Smith, M.A.G., Mitchell, G.R. and O'Leary, S.V. (2002) Local gratings due to angular hole burning in a photorefractive polymer. Journal of Optics A: Pure and Applied Optics, 4 (4). pp. 474-480. ISSN 1741-3567

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1088/1464-4258/4/4/318


We investigate the processes involved in writing real-time holographic gratings in a photorefractive polymer (PRP) that incorporates an azo-dye. In such systems there may be gratings due to mechanisms associated with trans–cis isomerization (angular hole burning (AHB) and/or angular redistribution), which appear in addition to those arising from the photorefractive (PR) effect. The work presented here helps to understand the interactions which may occur between these different gratings. The formation of local gratings due to mechanisms associated with photoisomerization is studied, in a new PRP based on the photoconductor poly(N-vinylcarbazole):2, 4, 7-trinitro-9-fluorenone, plasticized with N-ethylcarbazole. The polymer includes the azo-dye 4-nitro-4'-pentyloxy-azobenzene and we observe both PR and photoisomerization gratings. The gratings are shown to be both polarization-sensitive and reversible. The presence of the photoisomerization gratings (which diffract almost as strongly as the PR gratings) significantly affects the field-dependent diffractive behaviour of the composite. A measurement of the lifetime of the cis state is made (τcis = 38 s) using photoinduced dichroism. This is close to the decay time constant of the local gratings (τdecay = 42 s), and it is suggested that the local grating mechanism is AHB of the azo-dye. This is the first time (to the knowledge of the authors) that a local grating due to AHB has been demonstrated in a PRP.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Interdisciplinary centres and themes > Chemical Analysis Facility (CAF) > Electron Microscopy Laboratory (CAF)
ID Code:26916
Publisher:IOP Science

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