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Reconfigurable Photonics: A phase change for the better



3:30pm - 4:30pm ET


Zoom link
Meeting ID: 977 8641 2305
Passcode: 687612

The integration of phase-change materials (PCMs) to photonic devices such as integrated circuits, plasmonic waveguides, multilayer stacks, and metasurfaces has enabled a long-sought functionality: nonvolatile reconfiguration. This functionality allows photonic systems to be active (i.e., access multiple optical responses) using power to switch between configurations but zero power to retain any. This unprecedented combination of properties, which are of extreme importance in any photonics technology, is possible because PCMs (chalcogenides exemplified by Ge-Sb-Te alloys) exhibit large and nonvolatile optical properties modulation upon a reversible solid-state phase transition.

In this talk, I will present the state-of-the-art of this novel, fast-growing field together with its challenges and potential. I will focus on my research combining photonics and phase-change materials to develop in-memory computing on integrated photonic architectures, nonvolatile switching fabrics, reconfigurable metasurfaces, bistable displays, and tunable topological photonics. Additionally, I will discuss current efforts towards developing application-specific Optical PCMs, hybrid electro-optical devices enhanced by PCMs and 2D materials, and pathways to bridge other gaps in the photonic materials field – which my research aims to tackle.

About the Speaker(s)

Carlos A. Rios Ocampo
Postdoctoral Associate, MIT

Carlos Ríos is a postdoctoral associate at MIT in Prof. Juejun Hu’s Photonic Materials group. Carlos received a DPhil (PhD) degree in 2017 from the University of Oxford (UK) as a Clarendon Scholar; an MSc degree in 2013 in optics and photonics from the KIT (Germany) as an Erasmus Mundus scholar; and a BSc in physics in 2010 from the University of Antioquia (Colombia). His scientific interests are focused on the study and development of new technologies driven by the synergy between functional nanomaterials and photonics, such as on-chip optical computing, switching networks, and spectrometers. Carlos has extensively studied Chalcogenide Phase-Change materials for integrated photonics; his results include pioneering work for this emerging field.


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