Hybrid Phase-Change Nanophotonic Circuits

Authored by: Johannes Feldmann , Wolfram Pernice

21 Century Nanoscience – A Handbook

Print publication date:  November  2020
Online publication date:  November  2020

Print ISBN: 9780815356417
eBook ISBN: 9780429351617
Adobe ISBN:


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Phase-change nanophotonic devices are promising candidates for devising reconfigurable integrated optical components. Such systems combine the outstanding properties of phase-change materials (PCMs), which offer extraordinary contrast in the refractive index when switched between their amorphous and crystalline states, with the advantages of integrated photonic circuits. Both topics on their own already have huge technological impacts. PCMs have been a commercial success since the 1990s, as they form the basis for well-established optical data-storage media, such as rewritable compact disk (CD RW), digital versatile disks (DVD), and Blu-Ray RE (recordable erasable) (Yamada & Matsunaga 2000). More recently, phase-change random access memories (PCRAM) have been extensively studied to compete with conventional random access memories (Wong et al. 2010; Burr 2010). Similarly, integrated photonic circuits are widely used for implementing active and passive elements for telecommunication applications. Merging these two technologies in a hybrid platform leads to many novel applications in all-optical signal processing and offers reliable, fast, and low-energy operation. Hereby, the integrated photonics platform provides scalability and reliability of the fabricated devices, whereas the outstanding properties of PCMs guarantee fast operation, energy efficiency, and reversibility.

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