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High-contrast and fast electrochromic switching enabled by plasmonics



Ting Xu, Erich C. Walter, Amit Agrawal, Christopher C. Bohn, Jeyavel Velmurugan, Wenqi Zhu, Henri Lezec, Albert A. Talin


With vibrant colours and simple, room-temperature processing methods, electrochromic polymers have attracted attention as active materials for flexible, low-power-consuming devices. However, slow switching speeds in devices realized to date, as well as the complexity of having to combine several distinct polymers to achieve a full-colour gamut, have limited electrochromic materials to niche applications. Here we achieve fast, high-contrast electrochromic switching by significantly enhancing the interaction of light—propagating as deep-subwavelength-confined surface plasmon polaritons through arrays of metallic nanoslits, with an electrochromic polymer—present as an ultra-thin coating on the slit sidewalls. The switchable configuration retains the short temporal charge-diffusion characteristics of thin electrochromic films, while maintaining the high optical contrast associated with thicker electrochromic coatings. We further demonstrate that by controlling the pitch of the nanoslit arrays, it is possible to achieve a full-colour response with high contrast and fast switching speeds, while relying on just one electrochromic polymer.
Nature Communications


Xu, T. , Walter, E. , Agrawal, A. , Bohn, C. , Velmurugan, J. , Zhu, W. , Lezec, H. and Talin, A. (2016), High-contrast and fast electrochromic switching enabled by plasmonics, Nature Communications, [online],, (Accessed April 17, 2024)
Created January 26, 2016, Updated October 12, 2021