Holographic Recording in Cross-Linked Polymeric Matrices through Photoacid Generation.

graphical abstract
Khan, A.; Campos, L.M.; Mikhailovsky, A.; Toprak, M.; Strandwitz, N.C.; Stucky, G.D.; Hawker, C.J.;
Chem. Mater.,
20, 3669-3674.

We report a novel strategy for writing volume holograms by photoacid generation and subsequent acid-catalyzed degradation leading to increased free volume/refractive index modulation in the exposed regions of a cross-linked rigid polymeric matrix. This strategy offers nondestructive read out and high diffraction efficiency and allows optical-quality, millimeter thick films to be fabricated that possess excellent thermal and dimensional stability. A key feature of this approach is the efficient acid-catalyzed degradation of functional groups in the cross-linked matrix leading to release of volatile products which diffuse readily out of the thick films. Furthermore, the reported data storage material is lightweight and inexpensive and can be easily processed into different shapes, making it an attractive candidate for data storage applications.