This paper describes characterization of molecular orientation for azobenzene moieties in a polymer nanosheet. Copolymers of N-[4-(phenylazo) phenyl] acrylamide (PAZoA) with tert-pentyl acrylamide (tPA) were synthesized and the monolayers deposited on tapered quartz waveguides by Langmuir-Blodgett (LB) technique. Spectroscopic properties of the copolymer (p(tPA/PAZoA)) monolayers were monitored by integrated optical waveguide technique on the molecular level. Molecular orientation of the azobenzene was precisely determined by polarized absorption spectra. It was found that the azobenzene groups took a horizontal orientation and distributed uniformly in the p(tPA/PAZoA) monolayer without significant PAZoA aggregation. Photoisomerization process from trans to cis form was also investigated. More than half of the trans form (60-70%) was photoisomerized under unpolarized light irradiation, and the photoisomerization rate was independent on the PAZoA contents. This implies that the microenvironment of PAZoA moieties was almost the same in three different p(tPA/PAZoA) monolayers.
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