Polarized 3D Raman and nanoscale near-field optical microscopy of optically inscribed surface relief gratings: chromophore orientation in azo-doped polymer films†
We have used polarized confocal Raman microspectroscopy and scanning near-field optical microscopy with a resolution of 60 nm to characterize photoinscribed grating structures of azobenzene doped polymer films on a glass support. Polarized Raman microscopy allowed determining the reorientation of the chromophores as a function of the grating phase and penetration depth of the inscribing laser in three dimensions. We found periodic patterns, which are not restricted to the surface alone, but appear also well below the surface in the bulk of the material. Near-field optical microscopy with nanoscale resolution revealed lateral two-dimensional optical contrast, which is not observable by atomic force and Raman microscopy.