Combined microscopy technique observes nanoscale behavior of light-driven polymer

- Getting as near as possible to the action is often the key to expanding our scientific understanding.

- Recently, Japanese researchers have studied the behavior of azo-polymer films at the nanoscale when they are stimulated by laser light.

- In an investigation that was published in Nano Letters last month, Osaka University researchers utilized an optical microscope

- with tip-scan high-speed atomic force microscopy (HS-AFM) to produce movies that showed how the polymer films evolved.

- Azo-polymers are materials that change when exposed to light since they are photoactive materials. 

- In particular, light modifies their chemical composition, changing the films' surface.

- This makes them intriguing for uses like light-triggered motion and optical data storage.

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