Photoinduced Tuning of Optical Stop Bands in Azopolymer Based Inverse Opal Photonic Crystals

Authors

  • J.-C. Hong,

    1. Heeger Center for Advanced Materials, Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology, 1 Oryong-Dong, Buk-Gu, Gwangju 500-712 (Korea)
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  • J.-H. Park,

    1. Heeger Center for Advanced Materials, Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology, 1 Oryong-Dong, Buk-Gu, Gwangju 500-712 (Korea)
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  • C. Chun,

    1. Heeger Center for Advanced Materials, Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology, 1 Oryong-Dong, Buk-Gu, Gwangju 500-712 (Korea)
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  • D.-Y. Kim

    1. Heeger Center for Advanced Materials, Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology, 1 Oryong-Dong, Buk-Gu, Gwangju 500-712 (Korea)
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  • This work was supported by the Ministry of Education of Korea through Brain Korea 21 program, the Korea Science and Engineering Foundation (KOSEF) through the National Research Laboratory Program funded by the Korea government (MOST) (M10500000077-06J0000-07710), Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Energy of the Korea Government (MOCIE) (10022811).

Abstract

Photo-tunable photonic crystals were prepared from three dimensional (3D) colloidal crystal templates using a photoresponsive azopolymer. For the preparation of azopolymer infiltrated photonic crystals, silica colloidal crystals were fabricated by gravity sedimentation, a self-assembly technique. The interstitial voids between colloidal particles were filled with azopolymer and azopolymer inverse opals were produced by treatment with aqueous hydrofluoric acid. These photonic crystals exhibited stop bands in their transmission spectra measured in the normal incidence to the (111) plane of face centered cubic (fcc). The photonic bandgap of the azopolymer infiltrated opal and inverse opal could be controlled by the refractive index change due to the photoinduced orientation of azobenzene chromophores. When the azopolymer photonic crystals were irradiated with linearly polarized light, their bandgap positions were shifted to shorter wavelength regions with increasing irradiation time. This behavior experimentally produced a photoinduced orientation of the azobenzene groups in parallel with the incidence of the excitation light. Through such an out-of-plane orientation of azo chromophores, parallel to the [111] fcc crystallographic axis, the effective refractive index of the photonic crystal medium was decreased. Therefore, a blue-shift in bandgap positions was consequently induced with 20–40 nm tuning ranges. The out-of-plane orientation was confirmed by angular resolved absorption spectral measurements.

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