Transfer of chirality from light to a Disperse Red 1 molecular glass surface

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Mazaheri, Leila
Lebel, Olivier
Nunzi, Jean-Michel
Diffraction and Gratings , Anisotropic Optical Materials , Optical Storage Materials
Chiral structures and materials interact with light in well-documented ways, but light can also interact with achiral materials to generate chirality by inscribing its asymmetric configuration on photoresponsive materials, such as azobenzene derivatives. While it is possible to thusly generate both bidimensional (2D) and tridimensional (3D) chirality, 2D chirality is especially attractive because of its non-reciprocity. Herein, 2D chirality is induced on the surface of a glass-forming Disperse Red 1 derivative by irradiation with a single laser beam, yielding crossed spontaneous surface relief gratings (SSRG) with different pitches. Azimuth rotations up to 10° have been observed, and the absence of 3D chirality has been confirmed. This method thus allows generating non-reciprocal planar chiral objects by a simple, single irradiation process on a thin film of a material that can easily be processed over large areas or onto small objects.