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Ultraviolet light induced single step all-optical poling in lithium niobate

C.L.Sones, A.C.Muir, S.Mailis, R.W.Eason


Precision-scale engineering of domains in ferroelectric lithium niobate crystals is a subject of extensive research recently due to the numerous applications that this material has in optical telecommunications, nonlinear optics and optical sensing. The fabrication of well-defined periodic domain structures for this range of applications requires a robust method for ferroelectric domain inversion which can achieve the desired spatial ferroelectric domain distributions even on submicron scales. Furthermore, this method must be flexible, repeatable, and easy to apply.

So far the most popular method for ferroelectric domain reversal, referred to as E-field poling, involves the application of an external electric field across the two opposite z faces of the crystal at room temperature, Spatially selective ferroelectric domain reversal is achieved by covering one z face with photolithographically patterned photoresist or metal which provides the necessary spatially selective electric field contrast. However, the electric field contrast provided by the patterned photoresist is rather poor and consequently widths of ferroelectric domain produced by this method are limited to greater than a few microns.


Central Laser Facility Annual Report 2006-7 Rutherton Appleton Laboratories (2007) pp.151

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