Light propagation through photoinduced chiral structures in azobenzene-containing polymers

L Nedelchev, L Nikolova, T Todorov, T Petrova, N Tomova, V Dragostinova, P.S. Ramanujam, Søren Hvilsted

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


We investigate light propagation through azobenzene-containing polymers with photoinduced chiral structures. The structures have large pitch but the Mauguin condition is not fulfilled. The eigenmodes are shown to be elliptical and their ellipticity is determined by the ellipticity e(o) of the exciting light. In amorphous azopolymers, light induces a macroscopic chiral structure comprising the whole illuminated region. The pitch depends on the value of e(o): no chirality is induced if e(o) = 1 (circular polarization). In liquid-crystalline azopolymers circularly polarized light induces the formation of many microscopic spirals, which makes the material equivalent to the classical optically active media.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Optics A: Pure and Applied Optics (Print)
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)304-310
Publication statusPublished - 2001

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