We report the results for a grating diffraction experiment based on the employment of a novel agent, the so-called astralene namely star-like fullerene. Change of refractive index, originated by photo-induced molecular reorientation, causes a reasonable diffraction capability with respect to the results of other doped liquid crystal systems. Accessible diffraction efficiency is similar to 6% under optimum circumstances and analyzed results establish a reorientation lifetime at the order of 0.8 s. Experimental results also exhibit a dependence of the switching voltage on laser pumping in the reorientation process for doped sample. Analyzed results propose this novel system to be appropriate and quite fine for the excitation wavelength of an He-Ne laser. (C) 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.