Photorefractive polymers possessing a layered structure are shown to exhibit excellent photorefractive properties in the reflection grating geometry. A composite based on a rigid backbone of poly(p-phenyleneterephthalate) and pendent carbazole groups (PPT-CZ), the nonlinear optical chromophore piperidinodicyanostyrene (PDCST), and the sensitizer C<sub>60</sub> shows in reflection geometry a gain coefficient of 104 cm<sup>-1</sup> and a diffraction efficiency of 4.8 percent for an applied electric field of +60 V/mm. The investigated composites do not contain any plasticizer. Nevertheless the layered structure insures excellent stability without sacrifying the large rotational electro-optic effect connected with a very low glass transition temperature associated with the side chain motion.
© 2003 Optical Society of America