Surface relief grating growth in thin films of mexylaminotriazine-functionalized glass-forming azobenzene derivatives†
Azobenzene-containing materials exhibit various photomechanical properties, including the formation of surface relief gratings (SRG) when irradiated with two interfering laser beams. In a recent study, a novel glass-forming derivative of Disperse Red 1 (DR1) with a mexylaminotriazine group was synthesized in high yield with a simple and efficient procedure, and showed the ability to form high-quality amorphous thin films with a high resistance to crystallization. Irradiation of films of this material yielded SRG with growth rates comparable to other reported azo materials. Herein, a series of closely related molecular glasses containing azobenzene chromophores with various absorption maxima ranging from 410 to 570 nm were synthesized, and their physical and photomechanical properties were studied. All materials studied showed the ability to form stable glassy phases, and irradiation with lasers emitting at various wavelengths allowed to perform a comparative study of SRG growth within a series of analogous chromophores.