Photorefractive Polymer

Photorefractive book cover

Photorefractive book cover


The photorefractive effect is a reversible photoinduced change of the material refractive index characterized by a phase shift between the illumination and the index pattern. Indeed, while there are several different phenomena that lead to refractive index change in material, the photorefractive effect fingerprint is the phase shift that lead to unique properties like two beam coupling.

The photorefractive effect has been discovered by A. Ashkin at al. in 1966 in LiNbO3 and LiTaO3inorganic crystals. In 1990, the effect has been demonstrated in organic compounds by K. Sutter et al..  Prof. Peyghambarian’s group study those materials since more than 10 years and has been the on the forefront in major discoveries on that topic. Photorefractive materials are interesting because they can be used as self-developing and refreshable holographic recording medium.

Photorefractive organic materials are now mature for applications and we have developed a large  holographic 3D display that can be written erased and refreshed within a few minutes. Click here for more information.

Other target applications are: laser beam amplification, signal restoration, non-destructive testing, data storage 


  • P.-A. Blanche, J.-W. Ka, N. Peyghambarian,  “Review of Organic Photorefractive Materials and Their Use for Updateable 3D Display”, materials (MDPI), 2021, 14, 5799. Link
  • P.-A Blanche ed., “Photorefractive Organic Materials and Applications”, Springer Series in Materials Science 240, Springer, (2016).
  • P.A Blanche et al., “Diffraction response of photorefractive polymers over nine orders of magnitude of pulse duration”, Scientific Reports, 6:29027, (2016).
  • P.-A. Blanche et al., “Photorefractive polymers sensitized by two-photon absorption”, Optics Letters vol. 27, pp 19-21 (2002) pdf
  • B. Kippelen et al., “Photorefractive Polymers with NonDestructive Readout”, Advanced Functional Materials, vol. 12, pp 615-620 (2002) pdf
  • J. A. Herlocker et al., “Stabilization of the response time in photorefractive polymers”, Applied Physics Letters, vol. 77, pp 2292-2294 (2000) pdf

Images and Videos

The photorefractive effect

Aberrated image

Dynamic Image Correction

Corrected image

Holographic 3D Display

Holographic 3D Display

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