American Chemical Society
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Fabrication of a VO2‑Based Tunable Metasurface by Electric-Field Scanning Probe Lithography with Precise Depth Control

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-03-01, 13:17 authored by Wenhao Zhang, Xiqi Wu, Liang Li, Chongwen Zou, Yuhang Chen
Vanadium dioxide (VO2) is widely employed in developing tunable optoelectronic devices due to its significant changes in optical and electric properties upon phase transition. To fabricate the VO2-based functional devices down to the micro/nanoscale, a high-resolution processing technique is in demand. Scanning probe lithography (SPL) on the basis of a tip-induced electric field provides a promising approach for prototyping. Here, we demonstrated a precise VO2 etching strategy by direct writing on a VO2 film with a negative tip bias and subsequent sonication removal of the written area. The effects of bias voltage, sonication, and thermal treatment as well as the mechanical difference between the tip-modulated area and the pristine VO2 film were investigated systematically. The results show that VO2 can be etched layer by layer via alternately repeating tip modulation and sonication, and arbitrary patterns can be written. Based on this route, we designed a kind of metasurface by arranging VO2–gold nanoblocks with different sizes and heights for spectrally selective tunable reflectivity in near- and mid-infrared. This electric-field SPL method demonstrates the prominent advantages of high resolution down to several tens of nanometers, quasi-3D patterning, and resist-free maskless direct writing, which should be applicable for prototyping other micro/nanodevices.