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  1. Metamaterials present great potential in the applications of solar cells and nanophotonics, such as super lenses and other meta devices, owing to their superior optical properties. In particular, hyperbolic metamaterials (HMMs) with exceptional optical anisotropy offer improved manipulation of light–matter interactions as well as a divergence in the density of states and thus show enhanced performances in related fields. Recently, the emerging field of oxide–metal vertically aligned nanocomposites (VANs) suggests a new approach to realize HMMs with flexible microstructural modulations. In this work, a new oxide–metal metamaterial system, CeO 2 –Au, has been demonstrated with variable Au phase morphologies from nanoparticle-in-matrix (PIM), nanoantenna-in-matrix, to VAN. The effective morphology tuning through deposition background pressure, and the corresponding highly tunable optical performance of three distinctive morphologies, were systematically explored and analyzed. A hyperbolic dispersion at high wavelength has been confirmed in the nano-antenna CeO 2 –Au thin film, proving this system as a promising candidate for HMM applications. More interestingly, a new and abnormal in-plane epitaxy of Au nanopillars following the large mismatched CeO 2 matrix instead of the well-matched SrTiO 3 substrate, was discovered. Additionally, the tilting angle of Au nanopillars, α , has been found to be a quantitative measure of the balance between kinetics and thermodynamics during the depositions of VANs. All these findings provide valuable information in the understanding of the VAN formation mechanisms and related morphology tuning. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available July 31, 2024
  2. Microresonator-based soliton generation promises chip-scale integration of optical frequency combs for applications spanning from time keeping to frequency synthesis. Access to the soliton repetition rate is a prerequisite for those applications. While miniaturized cavities harness Kerr nonlinearity and enable terahertz soliton repetition rates, such high rates are not amenable to direct electronic detection. Here, we demonstrate hybrid Kerr and electro-optic microcombs using a lithium niobate thin film that exhibits both Kerr and Pockels nonlinearities. By interleaving the high-repetition-rate Kerr soliton comb with the low-repetition-rate electro-optic comb on the same waveguide, wide Kerr soliton mode spacing is divided within a single chip, allowing for direct electronic detection and feedback control of the soliton repetition rate. Our work establishes an integrated approach to electronically access terahertz solitons, paving the way for building chip-scale referenced comb sources.

     
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  3. Transition metal nitrides such as titanium nitride (TiN) possess exceptional mechanical-, chemical-, and thermal-stability and have been utilized in a wide variety of applications ranging from super-hard, corrosion-resistive, and decorative coatings to nanoscale diffusion barriers in semiconductor devices. Despite the ongoing interest in these robust materials, there have been limited reports focused on engineering high-aspect ratio TiN-based nanocomposites with anisotropic magnetic and optical properties. To this end, we explored TiN–Fe thin films with self-assembled vertical structures integrated on Si substrates. We showed that the key physical properties of the individual components (e.g., ferromagnetism from Fe) are preserved, that vertical nanostructures promote anisotropic behavior, and interactions between TiN and Fe enable a special magneto-optical response. This TiN–Fe nanocomposite system presents a new group of complex multifunctional hybrid materials that can be integrated on Si for future Si-based memory, optical, and biocompatible devices. 
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  4. δ-Bi 2 O 3 has long been touted as a potential material for use in solid oxide fuel cells (SOFC) due to its intrinsically high ionic conductivity. However, its limited operational temperature has led to stabilising the phase from >725 °C to room temperature either by doping, albeit with a compromise in conductivity, or by growing the phase confined within superlattice thin films. Superlattice architectures are challenging to implement in functional μSOFC devices owing to their ionic conducting channels being in the plane of the film. Vertically aligned nanocomposites (VANs) have the potential to overcome these limitations, as their nanocolumnar structures are perpendicular to the plane of the film, hence connecting the electrodes at top and bottom. Here, we demonstrate for the first time the growth of epitaxially stabilised δ-Bi 2 O 3 in VAN films, stabilised independently of substrate strain. The phase is doped with Dy and is formed in a VAN film which incorporates DyMnO 3 as a vertically epitaxially stabilising matrix phase. Our VAN films exhibit very high ionic conductivity, reaching 10 −3 S cm −1 at 500 °C. This work opens up the possibility to incorporate thin film δ-Bi 2 O 3 based VANs into functional μSOFC devices, either as cathodes (by pairing δ-Bi 2 O 3 with a catalytically active electronic conductor) and/or electrolytes (by incorporating δ-Bi 2 O 3 with an insulator). 
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  5. Abstract Manufacture and characterizations of perovskite-mica van der Waals epitaxy heterostructures are a critical step to realize the application of flexible devices. However, the fabrication and investigation of the van der Waals epitaxy architectures grown on mica substrates are mainly limited to (111)-oriented perovskite functional oxide thin films up to now and buffer layers are highly needed. In this work, we directly grew La 0.7 Sr 0.3 MnO 3 (LSMO) thin films on mica substrates without using any buffer layer. By the characterizations of x-ray diffractometer and scanning transmission electron microscopy, we demonstrate the epitaxial growth of the (110)-oriented LSMO thin film on the mica substrate. The LSMO thin film grown on the mica substrate via van der Waals epitaxy adopts domain matching epitaxy instead of conventional lattice matching epitaxy. Two kinds of domain matching relationships between the LSMO thin film and mica substrate are sketched by Visualization for Electronic and STructural Analysis software and discussed. A decent ferromagnetism retains in the (110)-oriented LSMO thin film. Our work demonstrates a new pathway to fabricate (110)-oriented functional oxide thin films on flexible mica substrates directly. 
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  6. null (Ed.)
    Self-assembled oxide–metallic alloy nanopillars as hybrid plasmonic metamaterials ( e.g. , ZnO–Ag x Au 1−x ) in a thin film form have been grown using a pulsed laser deposition method. The hybrid films were demonstrated to be highly tunable via systematic tuning of the oxygen background pressure during deposition. The pressure effects on morphology and optical properties have been investigated and found to be critical to the overall properties of the hybrid films. Specifically, low background pressure results in the vertically aligned nanocomposite (VAN) form while the high-pressure results in more lateral growth of the nanoalloys. Strong surface plasmon resonance was observed in the UV-vis region and a hyperbolic dielectric function was achieved due to the anisotropic morphology. The oxide–nanoalloy hybrid material grown in this work presents a highly effective approach for tuning the binary nanoalloy morphology and properties through systematic parametric changes, important for their potential applications in integrated photonics and plasmonics such as sensors, energy harvesting devices, and beyond. 
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  7. This erratum corrects a typographic error that appears in Table 1 of our earlier paper [Optica8,539(2021)OPTIC82334-253610.1364/OPTICA.418984].

     
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  8. Abstract

    Mott insulator VO2exhibits an ultrafast and reversible semiconductor‐to‐metal transition (SMT) near 340 K (67 °C). In order to fulfill the multifunctional device applications, effective transition temperature (Tc) tuning as well as integrated functionality in VO2is desired. In this study, multifunctionalities including tailorable SMT characteristics, ferromagnetic (FM) integration, and magneto‐optical (MO) coupling, have been demonstrated via metal/VO2nanocomposite designs with controlled morphology, i.e., a two‐phase Ni/VO2pillar‐in‐matrix geometry and a three‐phase Au/Ni/VO2particle‐in‐matrix geometry. EvidentTcreduction of 20.4 to 54.9 K has been achieved by morphology engineering. Interestingly, the Au/Ni/VO2film achieves a record‐lowTcof 295.2 K (22.2 °C), slightly below room temperature (25 °C). The change in film morphology is also correlated with unique property tuning. Highly anisotropic magnetic and optical properties have been demonstrated in Ni/VO2film, whereas Au/Ni/VO2film exhibits isotropic properties because of the uniform distribution of Au/Ni nanoparticles. Furthermore, a strong MO coupling with enhanced magnetic coercivity and anisotropy is demonstrated for both films, indicating great potential for optically active property tuning. This demonstration opens exciting opportunities for the VO2‐based device implementation towards smart windows, next‐generation optical‐coupled switches, and spintronic devices.

     
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  9. Materials with strong second-order (χ<#comment/>(2)) optical nonlinearity, especially lithium niobate, play a critical role in building optical parametric oscillators (OPOs). However, chip-scale integration of low-lossχ<#comment/>(2)materials remains challenging and limits the threshold power of on-chipχ<#comment/>(2)OPO. Here we report an on-chip lithium niobate optical parametric oscillator at the telecom wavelengths using a quasi-phase-matched, high-quality microring resonator, whose threshold power (∼<#comment/>30µ<#comment/>W) is 400 times lower than that in previousχ<#comment/>(2)integrated photonics platforms. An on-chip power conversion efficiency of 11% is obtained from pump to signal and idler fields at a pump power of 93 µW. The OPO wavelength tuning is achieved by varying the pump frequency and chip temperature. With the lowest power threshold among all on-chip OPOs demonstrated so far, as well as advantages including high conversion efficiency, flexibility in quasi-phase-matching, and device scalability, the thin-film lithium niobate OPO opens new opportunities for chip-based tunable classical and quantum light sources and provides a potential platform for realizing photonic neural networks.

     
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