Crystals Made by Lasers in Glass Maintain Full Ferroelectric Functionality

A group from Lehigh University conducted the first detailed investigation of the piezoelectric and ferroelectric properties of laser-induced crystals confined in glass. They found that the as-grown crystals possess a complex ferroelectric domain structure that can be manipulated via the application of a DC bias.

“The findings open up the possibility of a new collection of optical devices that use fully functional laser-fabricated crystals in glass which rely on the precise control of the ferroelectric domain structure of the crystal,” said Keith Veenhuizen, assistant professor in the Department of Physics at Lebanon Valley College and the lead author of the paper, which builds on the work he did as a graduate student at Lehigh.

Volkmar Dierolf, chair of Lehigh University’s Department of Physics, added, “Being able to embed such functional single crystal architectures within a glass enables high-efficiency coupling to existing glass fiber networks. Such low loss links that maximize performance are of particular importance for future quantum information transfer system that are projected to take over the current schemes for optical communication.”

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