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Photonic non-volatile memories using phase change materials

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2 Author(s)
Pernice, Wolfram H.P. ; Institute of Nanotechnology, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, 76344 Eggenstein-Leopoldshafen, Germany ; Bhaskaran, Harish

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We propose an all-photonic, non-volatile memory, and processing element based on phase-change thin-films deposited onto nanophotonic waveguides. Using photonic microring resonators partially covered with Ge2Sb2Te5 (GST) multi-level memory operation in integrated photonic circuits can be achieved. GST provides a dramatic change in refractive index upon transition from the amorphous to crystalline state, which is exploited to reversibly control both the extinction ratio and resonance wavelength of the microcavity with an additional gating port in analogy to optical transistors. Our analysis shows excellent sensitivity to the degree of crystallization inside the GST, thus providing the basis for non-von Neumann neuromorphic computing.

Published in:

Applied Physics Letters  (Volume:101 ,  Issue: 17 )