Kinematics of Photoisomerization Processes of PMMA-BDK-MR Polymer Composite Thin Films
We investigate and report on the kinematics of photoisomerization processes of polymer composite thin films based on azo dye methyl red (MR) hosted in polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) incorporated with Benzyl dimethyl ketal (BDK) as a photo-initiator. Understanding photoisomerization mechanisms is crucial for several optical applications such as Read/Write/Erase (WRE) optical data storage media, UV light Read/Write heads, and UV light sensors. The as-prepared polymer composite thin films are
... terized using UV–Vis spectroscopy. Furthermore, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) and scanning electron microscope (SEM) are employed to investigate the optical, chemical, and morphological properties of trans- and cis-states of PMMA-BDK-MR polymer composite thin films. The presence of the azo dye MR in the composite is essential for the efficient performance of the cis ↔ trans cycles through illumination ↔ thermal relaxation for Write/Read/Erase optical data storage and UV-light sensors. Moreover, UV–Vis and FTIR results confirm the hysteresis cycle of trans- and cis-states and that PMMA-BDK-MR thin films may be regarded as potential candidates for successful Write/Read/Erase optical data storage and UV-light sensors. In addition, the morphology of the thin film surface is investigated by SEM technique. The SEM images indicate that uncured surfaces of PMMA-BDK-MR thin films are inhomogeneous compared with the corresponding surfaces after curing. The transformation from inhomogeneous surfaces to homogeneous surfaces is attributed to the polymerization of thin films by UV curing.