Journal of sol-gel science and technology vol:40 issue:1 pages:39-44
Photochromic silica based organic-inorganic hybrid materials containing covalently linked cyanoazobenzene chromophores were investigated by optical and dielectric spectroscopy. These materials, obtained via sol-gel process, were deposited onto glass substrates by spin coating technique to achieve thin transparent films. To investigate photoinduced alignment, the UV-Vis absorption spectra of the sol-gel films were recorded under illumination with linearly polarized blue light. Dielectric relaxation spectroscopy revealed a variety of relaxation processes: the alpha-process related to the dynamic glass transition temperature located around 150 degrees C, and an Arrhenius-type beta-relaxation (activation energy 58-60 kJ/mol) that was assigned to orientational fluctuations involving the azobenzene group. The correspondence between dielectric and photochemical behavior was discussed.