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Diffractive optical devices produced by light-assisted trapping of nanoparticles

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Abstract

One- and two-dimensional diffractive optical devices have been fabricated by light-assisted trapping and patterning of nanoparticles. The method is based on the dielectrophoretic forces appearing in the vicinity of a photovoltaic crystal, such as Fe:LiNbO3, during or after illumination. By illumination with the appropriate light distribution, the nanoparticles are organized along patterns designed at will. One- and two-dimensional diffractive components have been achieved on X- and Z-cut Fe:LiNbO3 crystals, with their polar axes parallel and perpendicular to the crystal surface, respectively. Diffraction gratings with periods down to around a few micrometers have been produced using metal (Al, Ag) nanoparticles with radii in the range of 70–100 nm. Moreover, several 2D devices, such as Fresnel zone plates, have been also produced showing the potential of the method. The diffractive particle patterns remain stable when light is removed. A method to transfer the diffractive patterns to other nonphotovoltaic substrates, such as silica glass, has been also reported.

© 2016 Optical Society of America

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