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Antimony thin films demonstrate programmable optical nonlinearity

DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.abd7097 DOI Help

Authors: Zengguang Cheng (Fudan University; University of Oxford) , Tara Milne (University of Oxford) , Patrick Salter (University of Oxford) , Judy S. Kim (University of Oxford; Diamond Light Source; Rosalind Franklin Institute) , Samuel Humphrey (University of Oxford) , Martin Booth (University of Oxford) , Harish Bhaskaran (University of Oxford)
Co-authored by industrial partner: No

Type: Journal Paper
Journal: Science Advances , VOL 7

State: Published (Approved)
Published: January 2021

Open Access Open Access

Abstract: The use of metals of nanometer dimensions to enhance and manipulate light-matter interactions for emerging plasmonics-enabled nanophotonic and optoelectronic applications is an interesting yet not highly explored area of research beyond plasmonics. Even more importantly, the concept of an active metal that can undergo an optical nonvolatile transition has not been explored. Here, we demonstrate that antimony (Sb), a pure metal, is optically distinguishable between two programmable states as nanoscale thin films. We show that these states, corresponding to the crystalline and amorphous phases of the metal, are stable at room temperature. Crucially from an application standpoint, we demonstrate both its optoelectronic modulation capabilities and switching speed using single subpicosecond pulses. The simplicity of depositing a single metal portends its potential for use in any optoelectronic application where metallic conductors with an actively tunable state are important.

Subject Areas: Materials, Physics

Facility: David Cockayne Centre for Electron Microscopy


Discipline Tags:

Material Sciences Physics Electronics Surfaces interfaces and thin films

Technical Tags: