Photoinduce dichroism as a tool for understanding orientational mobility of photoisomerizable dyes in amorphous matrices

Michel Fischer, Ahmad El Osman, Pierre Alexandre Blanche, Michel Dumont

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


In amorphous materials, the excitation of photoisomerizable dye molecules (most often azo dyes) by polarized light induces a more or less permanent anisotropy (dichroism and birefringence). Photoinduced anisotropy (PIA) is the result of the competition of three processes: (1) Angular hole burning (AHB) by polarized light; (2) Angular redistribution (AR) during the photoisomerization, the lifetime of the photo-isomer and the (spontaneous or photoinduced) return to the stable isomeric structure; (3) Thermal diffusion in the ground state. Photoassisted electrical poling (PAEP) and all-optical poling (AOP) proceed from the same mechanisms, but with different symmetries. In order to study optical ordering mechanisms and to characterize materials for photonic applications, a multiple wavelength experimental setup is used for recording the dynamics of the growing and of the relaxation of photoinduced dichroism. Results are interpreted with the help of a simple phenomenological model based on diffusion and pumping rates. Several examples are presented which illustrate the ability of this method for characterizing the orientational behavior of dye molecules.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)139-144
Number of pages6
JournalSynthetic Metals
Issue number1
StatePublished - Nov 1 2000
EventProccedings of the European Materials Research Society 1999 Spring Meeting, Symposium N: Molecular Photonics at the Interface of Physics, Chemistry and Biology - Strasbourg, France
Duration: Jun 1 1999Jun 4 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Metals and Alloys
  • Materials Chemistry


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