Photostriction of strontium ruthenate

Nat Commun. 2017 Apr 24;8:15018. doi: 10.1038/ncomms15108.


Transition metal oxides with a perovskite crystal structure exhibit a variety of physical properties associated with the lattice. Among these materials, strontium ruthenate (SrRuO3) displays unusually strong coupling of charge, spin and lattice degrees of freedom that can give rise to the photostriction, that is, changes in the dimensions of material due to the absorption of light. In this study, we observe a photon-induced strain as high as 1.12% in single domain SrRuO3, which we attribute to a nonequilibrium of phonons that are a result of the strong interaction between the crystalline lattice and electrons excited by light. In addition, these light-induced changes in the SrRuO3 lattice affect its electrical resistance. The observation of both photostriction and photoresistance in SrRuO3 suggests the possibility of utilizing the mechanical and optical functionalities of the material for next-generation optoelectronics, such as remote switches, light-controlled elastic micromotors, microactuators and other optomechanical systems.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't