Optical phase change materials (O-PCMs) are a unique class of materials which exhibit extraordinarily large optical property change (e.g. refractive index change > 1) when undergoing a solid-state phase transition. Traditional O-PCMs suffer from large optical losses even in their dielectric states, which fundamentally limits the performance of optical devices based on the materials. To resolve the issue, we have recently demonstrated a new O-PCM Ge-Sb-Se-Te (GSST) with broadband low loss characteristics. In this talk, we will review an array of reconfigurable photonic devices enabled by the low-loss O-PCM, including nonvolatile waveguide switches with unprecedented low-loss and high-contrast performance, free-space light modulators, bi-stable reconfigurable metasurfaces, and transient couplers facilitating waferscale device probing and characterizations.
We present recent development on integrated flexible and stretchable photonic devices. Conventional photonic devices are fabricated on rigid semiconductor or dielectric substrates and are therefore inherently incompatible with soft biological tissues. Recently, we have developed a suite of active and passive photonic devices and systems integrated on plastic substrates which can be bent, twisted, and stretched without compromising their optical performance. Key innovations are monolithic multi-material integration and advanced micro-mechanical structures co-designed with photonic devices, which enables devices with extreme mechanical flexibility and excellent optical performance.
The dramatic optical property change of optical phase change materials (O-PCMs) between their amorphous and crystalline states potentially allows the realization of reconfigurable photonics devices with low power consumption, such as optical switches and routers, reconfigurable meta-optics, displays, and photonic memories. However, conventional O-PCMs, such as VO2 and Ge2Sb2Te5, are inherently plagued by their excessive optical losses even in dielectric states, limiting their optical performance and hence application space. In this talk, we present the development of a new group of O-PCMs and their implementations in novel photonic devices. Ge-Sb-Se-Te (GSST), obtained by partially substituting Te with Se in traditional GST alloys, feature unprecedented broadband optical transparency covering the telecommunication bands to LWIR. Capitalizing on the dramatically-enhanced optical performance, novel non-volatile, reconfigurable on-chip photonics devices and architectures are demonstrated. GSST-integrated Si photonics based on the material innovation and novel “non-perturbative” designs exhibit significantly improved switching performance over state-of-the-art GST-based approaches. The technology is further scalable to realize non-blocking matrix switches with arbitrary network complexity, paving the path towards high performance reconfigurable photonics chips.
Optical phase change materials (O-PCMs) are a unique class of materials which exhibit extraordinarily large optical property change (e.g. refractive index change > 1) when undergoing a solid-state phase transition. These materials, exemplified by Mott insulators such as VO2 and chalcogenide compounds, have been exploited for a plethora of emerging applications including optical switching, photonic memories, reconfigurable metasurfaces, and non-volatile display. These traditional phase change materials, however, generally suffer from large optical losses even in their dielectric states, which fundamentally limits the performance of optical devices based on traditional O-PCMs. In this talk, we will discuss our progress in developing O-PCMs with unprecedented broadband low optical loss and their applications in novel photonic systems, such as high-contrast switches and routers towards a reconfigurable optical chip.
Two-dimensional (2-D) materials are of tremendous interest to silicon photonics given their singular optical characteristics spanning light emission, modulation, saturable absorption, and nonlinear optics. To harness their optical properties, these atomically thin materials are usually attached onto prefabricated devices via a transfer process. Here we present a new route for 2-D material integration with silicon photonics. Central to this approach is the use of chalcogenide glass, a multifunctional material which can be directly deposited and patterned on a wide variety of 2-D materials and can simultaneously function as the light guiding medium, a gate dielectric, and a passivation layer for 2-D materials. Besides achieving improved fabrication yield and throughput compared to the traditional transfer process, our technique also enables unconventional multilayer device geometries optimally designed for enhancing light-matter interactions in the 2-D layers. Capitalizing on this facile integration method, we demonstrate a series of high-performance glass-on-graphene devices including ultra-broadband on-chip polarizers, energy-efficient thermo-optic switches, as well as mid-infrared (mid-IR) waveguide-integrated photodetectors and modulators based on graphene and black phosphorus.