Efficient High-Refractive-Index Azobenzene Dendrimers Based on a Hierarchical Supramolecular Approach

PLUTO / PLUTO-2 Spatial Light Modulators
Digital-/ Computer Holography/ CGH Materials Processing / Optical Fabrication
Published on:
Authors: Fusco, Sandra; Oscurato, Stefano Luigi; Salvatore, Marcella; Reda, Francesco; Moujdi, Sara; Oliveira, Michael De; Ambrosio, Antonio; Centore, Roberto & Borbone, Fabio
Abstract:
“Real-time manipulation of light in a diffractive optical element made with an azomaterial, through the light-induced reconfiguration of its surface based on mass transport, is an ambitious goal that may enable new applications and technologies. The speed and the control over photopatterning/reconfiguration of such devices are critically dependent on the photoresponsiveness of the material to the structuring light pattern and on the required extent of mass transport. In this regard, the higher the refractive index (RI) of the optical medium, the lower the total thickness and inscription time can be. In this work, we explore a flexible design of photopatternable azomaterials based on hierarchically ordered supramolecular interactions, used to construct dendrimer-like structures by mixing specially designed sulfur-rich, high-refractive-index photoactive and photopassive components in solution. We demonstrate that thioglycolic-type carboxylic acid groups can be selectively used as part of a supramolecular synthon based on hydrogen bonding or readily converted to carboxylate and participate in a Zn(II)–carboxylate interaction to modify the structure of the material and fine-tune the quality and efficiency of photoinduced mass transport. Compared with a conventional azopolymer, we demonstrate that it is possible to fabricate high-quality, thinner flat diffractive optical elements to reach the desired diffraction efficiency by increasing the RI of the material, achieved by maximizing the content of high molar refraction groups in the chemical structure of the monomers.”

Open Access

Publication: Chemistry of Materials
Issue/Year: Chemistry of Materials, 2023
DOI: 10.1021/acs.chemmater.3c00550
Link: https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.chemmater.3c00550

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