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Conformal Coating of a Phase Change Material on Ordered Plasmonic Nanorod Arrays for Broadband All-Optical Switching

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journal contribution
posted on 19.12.2016, 16:03 by Peijun Guo, Matthew S. Weimer, Jonathan D. Emery, Benjamin T. Diroll, Xinqi Chen, Adam S. Hock, Robert P. H. Chang, Alex B. F. Martinson, Richard D. Schaller
Actively tunable optical transmission through artificial metamaterials holds great promise for next-generation nanophotonic devices and metasurfaces. Plasmonic nanostructures and phase change materials have been extensively studied to this end due to their respective strong interactions with light and tunable dielectric constants under external stimuli. Seamlessly integrating plasmonic components with phase change materials, as demonstrated in the present work, can facilitate phase change by plasmonically enabled light confinement and meanwhile make use of the high sensitivity of plasmon resonances to the variation of dielectric constant associated with the phase change. The hybrid platform here is composed of plasmonic indium–tin-oxide nanorod arrays (ITO-NRAs) conformally coated with an ultrathin layer of a prototypical phase change material, vanadium dioxide (VO2), which enables all-optical modulation of the infrared as well as the visible spectral ranges. The interplay between the intrinsic plasmonic nonlinearity of ITO-NRAs and the phase transition induced permittivity change of VO2 gives rise to spectral and temporal responses that cannot be achieved with individual material components alone.