A wide variety of photo-responsive aromatic polyethers containing azo linkages in the main chain were prepared by nucleophilic aromatic displacement reactions. These polymers undergo cis-trans isomerism in solution when exposed to ultraviolet light. This photo induced isomerization was found to have a profound affect on solution viscosity of the polymers. The polymers were amorphous in nature and undergo crosslinking reactions at elevated temperatures. Tough films of the polymers could be obtained upon solution casting from chloroform.