We demonstrate holographic recording in a new photopolymer system. The recording material is created by copolymerization of an optically inert monomer, methyl methacrylate, and a second monomer that is optically sensitive. On exposure of the recording material to light, a portion of the optically sensitive component detaches from the polymer matrix and causes hologram amplification through diffusion of the free molecules. We measured postrecording grating amplifications as high as 170% by this process. The recorded holograms are persistent at room temperature under continuous illumination at the recording wavelength. (C) 2000 Optical Society of America.