Multilevel reconfigurable nanophotonics with low-loss phase-change materials

Phase change materials (PCMs) are currently revolutionizing nanophotonics by providing ways to tune and reconfigure optical functionalities without any moving parts. Building on this phenomenon, the last decade has witnessed many exciting reports of novel devices exploiting PCMs such as for example beam-steering, tunable light emission, reflection and absorption, programmable metasurfaces and reconfigurable neural networks.

A large majority of the first studies were using standard PCMs such as GeSbTe as simple binary on-off switches, in which the ON state is the amorphous phase and the OFF state the fully crystalline phase. However, PCMs present another degree of freedom for tunability: the possibility to encode multilevel non-volatile states via partial crystallization. Furthermore, recently a new class of low-loss PCMs emerged (e.g. Sb2S3 and Sb2Se3), with negligible optical absorption in the near-infrared.

In this talk, we will present recent results on the physics properties of PCMs and on original methods to program PCMs into various multilevel states of crystallization. We will then present nanophotonic devices leveraging this multilevel programming and conclude on the perspectives for this technology.

An invited speaker presentation by Sébastien Cueff, CNRS research fellow at CNRS.

About Sébastien Cueff
Sébastien Cueff obtained his PhD in 2011 from the University of Caen, where he studied erbium-doped silicon-based photonic materials and devices. He then joined the Zia group at Brown University (USA), where he led a project to integrate emitters with phase-change materials (PCM) to realize high-speed modulated nanophotonic devices operating at telecom wavelengths.

Since 2015, he has been a CNRS research fellow at the Institut des Nanotechnologies de Lyon (INL) where he leads the PCM activity. This activity has been funded by numerous French and European projects in which he has taken part as coordinator (ANR Snapshot & ANR MetaOnDemand) or participant (ANR Octane, ANR Mirthful, European project Neuropuls), as well as through an active collaboration with ST Microelectronics.

He is author/co-author of 50 articles and over 100 international conferences.

About CNRS, Institut des Nanotechnologies de Lyon, INL
The Lyon Institute of Nanotechnology (Institut des Nanotechnologies de Lyon, INL) is a Joint Research Unit (Unité Mixte de Recherche, UMR 5270) involving the CNRS, ECL, INSA, Université Lyon 1 and CPE Lyon.

The goal of INL is to encourage world-leading multidisciplinary research in the areas of micro and nanotechnologies and their applications. The pioneering research undertaken at the Institute ranges from materials and technology to devices and systems, thus enabling the emergence of dedicated technologies. The Institute is supported in its work by the Nanolyon Technology Platform.
The application areas cover major economic sectors: semiconductor industry, information technologies, healthcare and wellbeing, energy and the environment. The laboratory is located on two leading research campuses at Lyon Ouest-Ecully and LyonTech-La Doua. It has personnel of 200 people including 121 permanent staff. INL is one of the key laboratories of the “Université de Lyon” research and higher education centre.

Research is organized in four areas:

For more information visit the website.

Sébastien Cueff is invited speaker at the 2024 edition of the European Conference on Integrated Optics.

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