Light-Induced Anisotropy in Amorphous Chalcogenides

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Science  19 Sep 1997:
Vol. 277, Issue 5333, pp. 1786-1787
DOI: 10.1126/science.277.5333.1786

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Glass materials are often defined by their lack of crystalline order and isotropic nature. In his Perspective, Tanaka discusses results published in the same issue by Krecmer et al. on an unusual glass material that exhibits strong mechanical anisotropy. When polarized light passes through the material, it contracts in the direction of the electric field vector. Such materials may be useful in applications where mechanical effects need to be controlled by light.