Abstract

Photoinduced dichroism in various polymers containing the same azo dye has been studied. “Angular hole burning” and molecular reorientation have been identified by analysis of dichroism dynamics at various probe wavelengths. The glass-transition temperature <i>T</i><sub>g</sub> is of major relevance for the reorientation of optically active molecules. For low <i>T</i><sub>g</sub> (below ambient temperature) thermal diffusion impedes anisotropy buildup. For higher <i>T</i><sub>g</sub> the angular distribution induced by the polarized pump beam is frozen. We propose a simple model based on diffusion rates in <i>trans</i> and <i>cis</i> molecules.

© 1999 Optical Society of America

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