The coupling of light with low-frequency functionalities of dielectrics and liquid crystals and an ability to turn “on” and “off” the pyro-, piezo-, or ferro- electric properties of materials on demand by optical means leads to fascinating science and device applications. Moreover, to achieve all-optical control in nano-circuits, the coupling of the light with mechanical degrees of freedom is highly desirable and has been elusive until recently. In this work, we report on the light intensity-induced structural phase transitions in graphene oxide doped piezoelectric polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) film observed by micro-Raman spectroscopy. Increasing the laser power results in a steady transformation of the Raman spectrum featured piezoelectric 𝛽 phase to one of non-piezoelectric 𝛼 structure. This effect is accompanied by volumetric change of a PVDF unit cell by a factor of two, useful for a photostriction materials application. Furthermore, we observed the reversible switching of α and 𝛽 phases as a function of the light intensity (laser power between 5.7–31.3 mW). This opens up a new route for multi-functionality control where strain, piezoelectric constants and polarization can be modified by light.
Yuri A. Barnakov, Omari Paul, Akinwunmi Joaquim, April Falconer, Richard Mu, Vadim Y. Barnakov, Dmitriy Dikin, Vitalii P. Petranovskii, Andre Zavalin, Akira Ueda, and Frances Williams, "Light intensity-induced phase transitions in graphene oxide doped polyvinylidene fluoride," Opt. Mater. Express 8, 2579-2585 (2018)