Inhomogeneous Photopolymerization in Multicomponent Media
We present a model for the photoinduced formation of composite materials by means of an inhomogeneous curing pattern. The model assumes that redistribution of molecules is due to mass diffusion and incorporates a realistic kinetic description of polymerization processes. Numerical simulations predict two different kinds of structure that have already been experimentally observed when this procedure was used to produce switchable diffraction gratings in polymer-based liquid-crystalline composite materials. We demonstrate how two parameters, related to diffusion and curing intensity, govern the phenomenon and determine the structure that will be formed after the curing process has been completed.