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8 May 2008 Investigation of the patterning efficiency in a new azo-dye copolymer under UV irradiation toward photonic applications
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Azo-polymers have been the subject of a growing interest since the first demonstration of reversible birefringence and dichroism effects induced optically at room temperature in such materials. It is well established that the mechanisms involved are related to a molecular reorientation following photo induced trans-cis-trans isomerization of the chromophores. The interest for such materials has been strengthened with the more recent demonstration that the photo-isomerization mechanisms can be employed to induce controlled topographic modifications. A simple example is the induction of a sinusoidal modulation of the film surface by the irradiation with an interference pattern between two laser beams. Such a simple step technique appears thus as a simple tool towards realisation of photonic devices. However, if the realisation of gratings with periods in the visible wavelength scale is widely investigated, a strong decrease of the patterning efficiency is observed in the case of periods below 400nm, limiting then the potential of the technique. In order to circumvent this problem we have developed a new azo-polymer presenting an absorption band shifted to the Ultra Violet (UV) region of the spectrum. The possibility to induce gratings with periods down to 200nm with UV irradiation is evidenced. Optical geometries of excitation have been implemented to optimise the modulation efficiencies. As a potential application of the material investigated, the realisation of a polymer micro laser based on a distributed feedback scheme is demonstrated.
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Licinio Rocha, Céline Fiorini, Katarzyna Matczyszyn, Paul Raimond, and Jean-Michel Nunzi "Investigation of the patterning efficiency in a new azo-dye copolymer under UV irradiation toward photonic applications", Proc. SPIE 6988, Nanophotonics II, 69881Z (8 May 2008);

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