Holographic photopolymerization (H-P) is a simple, fast and attractive means to fabricate one-, two- and three-dimensional complex structures. Liquid crystals, nanoparticles and silicate nano-plates have been patterned into submicron periodical structures. In this article, we report fabrication of a one-dimensional reflection grating structure by patterning a semicrystalline polymer, polyethylene glycol (PEG), in Norland resin (thiol-ene based UV curable resin) matrix using the H-P technique. Sharp notches observed in the reflection grating of this Norland/PEG system indicate a finite Δn present in the system due to spatial segregation of the PEG and Norland resin. The notch position red shifts upon heating and the diffraction efficiency (ratio between diffraction and incident light intensity, DE) increases from ∼20% to 60% for the Norland 65/PEG 4600 grating. This dynamic behavior of the reflection grating is also fully reversible. The unique thermal switching behavior is attributed to the melting/formation of PEG crystals during heating/cooling. By employing different molecular weight PEGs which have different melting temperatures, a series of switching temperatures have been achieved. Since PEG can be easily coupled with a variety of functional groups, this research might shed light on fabricating multifunctional Bragg gratings using the H-P technique.
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