Multiscale optical imaging of complex fields based on the use of azobenzene nanomotors (invited paper : perspective)
Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters
Imaging approaches that enable visualization of electromagnetic fields over length scales ranging from microns to nanometers are increasingly important as optical technologies and scientific studies continue to push to smaller lengths scales to reveal new light-matter interactions. In this Perspective, we review work on the use of azobenzene moieties that are covalently attached to a polymeric backbone and function as optically driven nanomotors. The light-induced molecular movement has proven to be a very valuable approach for a wide range of opportunities in sub-wavelength imaging and nano-to micro-scale control of mass transport. This approach is distinguished from other types of optical exposure processes for imaging through vectorial transport. This feature opens new avenues for truly understanding the governing processes of field formation and dynamic evolution in three dimensions in the condensed phase. A review of modeling results is also provided in order to understand the mass transport process beginning with light-molecule interactions.