|Audorff, H.; Walker, R.; Kador, L.; Schmidt, H.-W.: Holographic Investigations of Azobenzene-Containing Low-Molecular-Weight Compounds in Pure Materials and Binary Blends with Polystyrene, Chemistry - A European Journal, 17, 12722-12728 (2011) -- DOI: 10.1002/chem.201100941|
This paper reports on the synthesis and the thermal and optical properties of photochromic low-molecular-weight compounds, especially with respect to the formation of holographic volume gratings in the pure materials and in binary blends with polystyrene. Its aim is to provide a basic understanding of the holographic response with regard to the molecular structure, and thus to show a way to obtain suitable rewritable materials with high sensitivity for holographic data storage. The photoactive low-molecular-weight compounds consist of a central core with three or four azobenzene-based arms attached through esterification. Four different cores were investigated that influence the glass transition temperature and the glass-forming properties. Additional structural variations were introduced by the polar terminal substituent at the azobenzene chromophore to fine-tune the optical properties and the holographic response. Films of the neat compounds were investigated in holographic experiments, especially with regard to the material sensitivity. In binary blends of the low-molecular-weight compounds with polystyrene, the influence of a polymer matrix on the behavior in holographic experiments was studied. The most promising material combination was also investigated at elevated temperatures, at which the holographic recording sensitivity is even higher.