We report on the versatile effect of weak red laser light impinging on diblock copolymer [poly(isoprene-b-styrene)] dispersions in two selective solvents for each block. In the strongly scattering but transparent micellar solutions in hexane (a good solvent for polyisoprene), higher refractive index copolymer-rich fibers were formed. In the turbid dispersions of the same copolymer in ethyl acetate (a good solvent for polystyrene), the effect of self-induced transparency was observed. A two-step patterning mechanism caused the generation of a transparent microchannel, increasing light transmission. The analogy between the current effect and that observed in homopolymer polyisoprene solutions in different solvents is discussed toward an understanding of the unanticipated light–soft-matter interaction.
© 2012 Optical Society of America
Original Manuscript: December 26, 2011
Revised Manuscript: May 2, 2012
Manuscript Accepted: May 3, 2012
Published: June 20, 2012
Manos Anyfantakis, Benoit Loppinet, George Fytas, Christos Mantzaridis, Stergios Pispas, and Hans-Jürgen Butt, "Self-induced transparency in diblock copolymer dispersions," Opt. Lett. 37, 2487-2489 (2012)