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Reconfigurable Multistate Optical Systems Enabled by VO2 Phase Transitions

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posted on 20.10.2020, 21:48 by Xiaoyang Duan, Samuel T. White, Yuanyuan Cui, Frank Neubrech, Yanfeng Gao, Richard F. Haglund, Na Liu
Reconfigurable optical systems are the object of continuing, intensive research activities, as they hold great promise for realizing a new generation of compact, miniaturized, and flexible optical devices. However, current reconfigurable systems often tune only a single state variable triggered by an external stimulus, thus, leaving out many potential applications. Here we demonstrate a reconfigurable multistate optical system enabled by phase transitions in vanadium dioxide (VO2). By controlling the phase-transition characteristics of VO2 with simultaneous stimuli, the responses of the optical system can be reconfigured among multiple states. In particular, we show a quadruple-state dynamic plasmonic display that responds to both temperature tuning and hydrogen-doping. Furthermore, we introduce an electron-doping scheme to locally control the phase-transition behavior of VO2, enabling an optical encryption device encoded by multiple keys. Our work points the way toward advanced multistate reconfigurable optical systems, which substantially outperform current optical devices in both breadth of capabilities and functionalities.