Laser-induced phase change in Langmuir films observed using nanosecond pump-probe Brewster angle microscopy

Jonathan Hobley, Tomoya Oori, Shinji Kajimoto, Sergey Gorelik, Dirk Hönig, Koji Hatanaka, Hiroshi Fukumura

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


A technique is described to observe transient events in thin interfacial films and monolayers. p-polarized light has minimum reflectivity at the Brewster angle. When an interface is viewed with light that is both incident and reflected at the Brewster angle the resulting image is dark. However, small refractive index changes can increase the reflectivity producing a high-contrast image of an altered interface with a dark background level. Using this phenomenon, with imaging optics, photo-induced phase change in Langmuir films was monitored. Two synchronized 5-ns pulsed lasers were used in the pump-probe configuration to induce changes at an air-liquid interface and to monitor the resulting morphology changes at selected time delays after photo-excitation. The photo-responsive layers were made from photochromic spiropyrans, having long aliphatic chain substituents. When irradiated with UV light the closed form of the molecule converts to a more planar ring open merocyanine form. This results in the layers changing their morphology in order to accommodate the new molecular form.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)947-954
Number of pages8
JournalApplied Physics A: Materials Science and Processing
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2008 Dec 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Laser-induced phase change in Langmuir films observed using nanosecond pump-probe Brewster angle microscopy'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this