Polymer scaffolds bearing azobenzene - Potential for optical information storage

Søren Hvilsted, P.S. Ramanujam

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articleResearchpeer-review


The fundamental optical storage mechanism of the laser light addressable azobenzene moiety is briefly introduced. A modular and flexible synthesis design furnishes polyester matrices covalently integrating cyanoazobenzene in regularly spaced side chains. Thin films of these materials are particularly well suited for holographic storage. Notable figures of merits of liquid crystalline polyesters are response time to blue-green laser light of the order of nanoseconds, storage capacity expressed as 5000 lines/mm, and high, permanent (almost nine years) diffraction efficiency of the order of 50% or greater, and erasability. The implications of the main chain nature for polyester morphology and for the permanency of the induced anisotropy are discussed. The design and methods of preparation of other significantly different polymer scaffolds supporting cyanoazobenzene are elaborated. Oligopeptides always result in amorphous materials, whereas copolymethacrylates and dendritic or hyperbranched polyesters provide some materials that exhibit liquid crystallinity. However, none of these scaffolds affords materials that result in permanent anisotropy when exposed to interfering laser light.
Original languageEnglish
JournalChinese Journal of Polymer Science
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)147-153
Publication statusPublished - 2001
EventInternational conference on new trends in functional polymers - Huangshan, China
Duration: 8 May 200013 May 2000


ConferenceInternational conference on new trends in functional polymers


  • Azobenzene side-chain polymers
  • Copolymethacrylates
  • Dendrimers
  • Holographic storage
  • LC and amorphous polyesters
  • Morphology
  • Oligopeptides

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