Abstract

We report the effective nonlinearity for photochromic conversion in a blue-membrane bacteriorhodopsin film hosted in a dry polyvinyl alcohol matrix. The shift in absorption maximum on photoconversion in this film is larger than that of the same material in hydrated form, thus offering a larger modulation of the refractive index. The photoexcited index modulation is stable for several months, which provides for holographic data recording and long-term photochromic data storage. The effective index modulation is experimentally measured and is in good agreement with the theoretical predictions based on the Kramers–Kronig transformation.

© 1996 Optical Society of America

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