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Proceedings Paper

Photomechanical effect of azobenzene thin polymer films measured with an AFM cantilever based sensor
Author(s): Zahid S. Mahimwalla; Yoshihiko Ngai; Christopher J. Barrett
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Paper Abstract

Herein we present the characterization of the photomechanical effect of thin films of azobenzene based polymers PDR1A, PDR13A and PMMA-co-PDR1A using an AFM based sensor. The polymers were coated on silicon and mica cantilevers, and the cantilever bending and surface stress changes were characterized. We have shown that the photoisomerization results in fast and significant cantilever bending ranging from 50-313 μm and changes in surface stresses ranging from 96 to 568 N/m for PDR1A coated mica cantilevers. The photomechanical effect was shown to be robust and repeatable. Of all the polymers studied, PDR1A exerted the largest forces with variations in solvent presence, main chain modification and chromophore modification, all reducing the change in surface stress in order of increasing impact. The utility of this new sensor in the understanding and characterization of the photomechanical effect of azobenzene based polymers is demonstrated.

Paper Details

Date Published: 10 May 2010
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 7712, Nanophotonics III, 771217 (10 May 2010); doi: 10.1117/12.855516
Show Author Affiliations
Zahid S. Mahimwalla, McGill Univ. (Canada)
Yoshihiko Ngai, McGill Univ. (Canada)
Christopher J. Barrett, McGill Univ. (Canada)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7712:
Nanophotonics III
David L. Andrews; Jean-Michel Nunzi; Andreas Ostendorf, Editor(s)

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