24 August 2017 Harnessing the metal-insulator transition for tunable metamaterials
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Abstract
The control of light-matter interaction through the use of subwavelength structures known as metamaterials has facilitated the ability to control electromagnetic radiation in ways not previously achievable. A plethora of passive metamaterials as well as examples of active or tunable metamaterials have been realized in recent years. However, the development of tunable metamaterials is still met with challenges due to lack of materials choices. To this end, materials that exhibit a metal-insulator transition are being explored as the active element for future metamaterials because of their characteristic abrupt change in electrical conductivity across their phase transition. The fast switching times (▵t < 100 fs) and a change in resistivity of four orders or more make vanadium dioxide (VO2) an ideal candidate for active metamaterials. It is known that the properties associated with thin film metal-insulator transition materials are strongly dependent on the growth conditions. For this work, we have studied how growth conditions (such as gas partial pressure) influence the metalinsulator transition in VO2 thin films made by pulsed laser deposition. In addition, strain engineering during the growth process has been investigated as a method to tune the metal-insulator transition temperature. Examples of both the optical and electrical transient dynamics facilitating the metal-insulator transition will be presented together with specific examples of thin film metamaterial devices.
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Nicholas A. Charipar, Kristin M. Charipar, Heungsoo Kim, Nicholas S. Bingham, Ryan J. Suess, Scott A. Mathews, Raymond C. Y. Auyeung, Alberto Piqué, "Harnessing the metal-insulator transition for tunable metamaterials", Proc. SPIE 10343, Metamaterials, Metadevices, and Metasystems 2017, 103430T (24 August 2017); doi: 10.1117/12.2275864; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2275864
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