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Photoinduced Self-Structured Surface Pattern on a Molecular Azo Glass Film: Structure–Property Relationship and Wavelength Correlation

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journal contribution
posted on 18.10.2011, 00:00 by Xiaolin Wang, Jianjun Yin, Xiaogong Wang
In this study, three series of star-shaped molecular azo glasses were synthesized, and self-structured surface pattern formation on the azo compound films was studied by laser irradiation at different wavelengths. The molecular azo glasses were synthesized from three core precursors (Tr-AN, Tr-35AN, Tr-H35AN), which were prepared by ring-opening reactions between 1,3,5-triglycidyl isocyanurate and corresponding aniline derivatives. The star-shaped azo compounds were obtained through azo-coupling reactions between the core precursors and diazonium salts of 4-chloroaniline, 4-aminobenzonitrile, and 4-nitroaniline, respectively. By using the two-step reaction scheme, three series of azo compounds with different structures were obtained. The core precursors and azo compounds were characterized by using 1H NMR, FT-IR, UV–vis, mass spectrometry, and thermal analyses. The self-structured surface pattern formation on films of the azo compounds was studied by irradiating the azo compound films with a normal-incident laser beam at different wavelengths (488, 532, and 589 nm). The results show that the photoinduced surface pattern formation behavior is closely related to the structure of the azo compounds, excitation wavelength, and light polarization conditions. The absorption band position of the π–π* transition is mainly determined by the electron-withdrawing groups on the azo chromophores. When the excitation wavelength is between λmax and the band tail at the longer wavelength side, the self-structured surface patterns can be more efficiently induced to form on the films. The 3,5-dimethyl substitution on azo chromophores inhibits the surface pattern formation for certain excitation wavelengths. Increasing molecular interaction also shows an effect of restraining the surface pattern formation. The irradiations with linearly and circularly polarized light cause significant differences in the alignment manner of the pillarlike structures and their saturated height.