Rewritable color nanoprints in antimony trisulfide films

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Science Advances  16 Dec 2020:
Vol. 6, no. 51, eabb7171
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.abb7171


Materials that exhibit large and rapid switching of their optical properties in the visible spectrum hold the key to color-changing devices. Antimony trisulfide (Sb2S3) is a chalcogenide material that exhibits large refractive index changes of ~1 between crystalline and amorphous states. However, little is known about its ability to endure multiple switching cycles, its capacity for recording high-resolution patterns, nor the optical properties of the crystallized state. Unexpectedly, we show that crystalline Sb2S3 films that are just 20 nm thick can produce substantial birefringent phase retardation. We also report a high-speed rewritable patterning approach at subdiffraction resolutions (>40,000 dpi) using 780-nm femtosecond laser pulses. Partial reamorphization is demonstrated and then used to write and erase multiple microscale color images with a wide range of colors over a ~120-nm band in the visible spectrum. These solid-state, rapid-switching, and ultrahigh-resolution color-changing devices could find applications in nonvolatile ultrathin displays.

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