The temporal behavior of beams diffracted by volume gratings in photopolymer thin films are measured and analyzed by solution of the diffusion equation for the monomer concentration inside the thin films. Two contributors to the refractive-index change that forms the volume gratings are assumed: One is the phase grating formed by modulation of the monomer concentration, and the other is the phase grating formed by modulation of the density of the polymeric materials. The phase grating that is due to monomer modulation is responsible for the initial fast rise and decay of the diffracted signal, and the phase grating that is due to modulation of density of the polymeric materials is responsible for the slowly rising and then steady signal. The temporal behavior of the diffracted beams is determined by the ratio of magnitudes of the incident beam intensity and the diffusion coefficient.
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