A significant part of nowadays technical development for data storage and data transport is based on the behavior of light and its properties such as polarization. In fact, the usage of polarized light and the manipulation of its properties are present in nature for a long time – not only in organisms.
As a good example in recent optoelectronic research, polarized light is used for structuring and shaping of bulks and surfaces of thin azo layers. This very established procedure of photolithography is used for so-called “photo-addressable” materials for their (ir)reversible change in physical and/or chemical behavior. Particularly, we are interested in two and three-dimensional photo-induced structuring of thin azo polymers and low molecular compounds synthetized by ourselves.
Due to the extraordinary properties, azo dyes constitute a well investigated material class that represent good candidates for optoelectronic devices based on organic molecules. Surface corrugation, holographic data storage, grating couplers, and output control layers in organic LEDs (OLED) are only a few examples for possible applications. Even the application in biological systems for control of biochemical processes and manipulation of physical properties is under consideration.