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Spatially-resolved insulator-metal transition for rewritable optical gratings

Yuliang Chen, Changlong Hu, Liyan Xie, Xiaoyu Zhou, Bowen Li, Hui Ren, Liang Li, Guobin Zhang, Jun Jiang,
Communications Materials , Volume 2, pp 1-7; doi:10.1038/s43246-021-00141-2

Abstract: Optical relief gratings are usually composed of physical grooves with a constant periodicity, and typically suffer from light scattering, are mechanically fragile and are single function. Here, we develop WO3-based gratings by using a recently reported electron-proton synergistic doping route under ambient conditions. This doping strategy is compatible with conventional ultraviolet photolithography, and we show that it induces a selective insulator-metal phase transition and coloration in WO3, with spatial-resolution up to micron-scale. Due to the electrochromic-induced-contrast, a WO3 volume phase grating without grooves and a WO3 relief grating with tunable periodicity are demonstrated. Both gratings can be rewritten after a reset procedure by annealing in air. Our experiments demonstrate WO3–based gratings and an attractive technique for rewritable oxides.
Keywords: doping / WO3 / transition / insulator / grooves / relief gratings / Optical / function
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