Azopolymer-based micro- and nanopatterning for photonic applications

Arri Priimagi, Andriy Shevchenko

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

    175 Citations (Scopus)


    Azopolymers comprise a unique materials platform, in which the photoisomerization reaction of azobenzene molecules can induce substantial material motions at molecular, mesoscopic, and even macroscopic length scales. In particular, amorphous azopolymer films can form stable surface relief patterns upon exposure to interfering light. This allows obtaining large-area periodic micro- and nanostructures in a remarkably simple way. Herein, recent progress in the development of azopolymer-based surface-patterning techniques for photonic applications is reviewed. Starting with a thin azopolymer layer, one can create a variety of photonic elements, such as diffraction gratings, microlens arrays, plasmonic sensors, antireflection coatings, and nanostructured light-polarization converters, either by using the azopolymer surface patterns themselves as optical elements or by utilizing them to microstructure or nanostructure other materials. Both of these domains are covered, with the aim of triggering further research in this fascinating field of science and technology that is far from being harnessed. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J. Polym. Sci., Part B: Polym. Phys. 2014, 52, 163-182 The aim of this review is to cover the existing research and trigger future research on the development of azopolymer-based micro- and nanopatterning techniques for applications in photonics. These techniques exploit a remarkably simple inscription of large-area surface relief gratings on azopolymer films. Starting with such an azopolymer pattern, one can create a variety of photonic elements, including diffraction gratings, distributed Bragg reflectors, microlens arrays, plasmonic sensors, antireflection coatings, and nanostructured converters of light polarization.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)163-182
    Number of pages20
    JournalJournal of Polymer Science. Part B, Polymer Physics
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2014
    Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


    • azo polymers
    • isomer/isomerization
    • lithography
    • nanotechnology
    • periodic arrays
    • photonics; surface-relief grating

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Condensed Matter Physics
    • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
    • Polymers and Plastics
    • Materials Chemistry

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