A mean-field model of photoinduced surface reliefs in dye containing side-chain polymers is presented. It is demonstrated that photoinduced ordering of dye molecules subject to anisotropic intermolecular interactions leads to mass transport even when the intensity of the incident light is spatially uniform. Theoretical profiles are obtained using a simple variational method and excellent agreement with experimental surface reliefs recorded under various polarization configurations is found. The polarization dependence of both period and shape of the profiles is correctly reproduced by the model.
Pedersen, T. G., Johansen, P. M., Holme, N. C. R., Ramanujam, P. S., & Hvilsted, S. (1998). Mean-field theory of photoinduced formation of surface reliefs in side-chain azobenzene polymers. Physical Review Letters, 80(1), 89-92. https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevLett.80.89