All optical fabrication of Surface Relief Grating (SRG) on azobenzene functionalized polymer films is reviewed in this article. The uniqueness of the single step erasable photofabrication of large amplitude surface relief structures on azo polymer films is mainly due to the photoisomerization and photoanisotropic behavior of the azobenzene group. The design and synthesis of several classes of suitable azobenzene functionalized polymers for the SRG formation is presented. Experimental studies are carried out in a systematic manner to understand the chemical and physical intricacies involved in the SRG formation process. Structural requirements and their limitations for the efficient fabrication of SRGs on azo functionalized polymer films are also discussed. Understanding the fundamental mechanism of SRG formation on the azo functionalized polymer films enables us to make use of these structures in a variety of applications.
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Journal of Materials Chemistry
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