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Reversible Nanocontraction and Dilatation in a Solid Induced by Polarized Light

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Science  19 Sep 1997:
Vol. 277, Issue 5333, pp. 1799-1802
DOI: 10.1126/science.277.5333.1799

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Abstract

Reversible, controllable optical nanocontraction and dilatation in a chalcogenide glass film was induced by polarized light, and a direct correlation of this optomechanical effect with the reversible optical-induced optical anisotropy (dichroism) also exhibited by the chalcogenide glass was observed. A microscopic model of the photoinduced, reversible structural phenomenon responsible for the optomechanical behavior is presented. The ability to induce an anisotropic optomechanical effect could form the basis of a number of applications, including polarized light-dependent optical nanoactuators, optomechanical diaphragm micropumps, and even motors driven by polarized light.

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