Photorefractive gratings have been obtained with 632.8 nm writing beams in organic–inorganic SiO2-based films. The hybrid glass is prepared by a sol–gel technique, starting from organic Si precursors, and contains Disperse Red 1 (DR1), carbazole units and 2,4,7-trinitro-9-fluorenone (TNF). The photorefractive gain, which has been found unexpectedly even without poling field, has been determined through an asymmetric energy exchange by two-beam coupling measurements. The effects of the polarization of the writing beams and of a circularly polarized photoisomerizing radiation during the erasure of the grating have been interpreted in terms of an orientational contribution to the grating formation.
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