Photomechanical response of disperse red 1 azobenzene dye-doped PMMA polymer fiber

Xianjun Ye, Mark G. Kuzyk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Disperse red 1 azobenzene (DR1) doped poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) optical fiber has been shown to have a fast photomechanical response upon 633 nm laser irradiation originating in photo-isomerization of the dopants between the cis and trans forms. In this work, laser light of 355 nm wavelength is used to investigate the trans to cis isomerization process, which should result in length contraction. A three-point-contact optically actuated beam-controlling mount is made of dye doped polymer fiber segments and metal-coated microscope coverslips to measure the photomechanical response. The length change of the fiber is determined from a quadrant photodetector reading upon beam deflection. The fiber is observed to elongate upon UV irradiation. We find that for DR1 dye in PMMA polymer, the dominant mechanism of the photomechanical effect is photo-thermally stimulated isomerization rather than direct photoisomerization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)210-215
Number of pages6
JournalOptics Communications
StatePublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Azobenzene
  • Disperse red 1
  • Dye-doped polymer
  • Photoisomerization
  • Photomechanical effect
  • Polymer fiber

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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