Novel applications possibilities for phase-change materials and devices
Wright, C. David
Aziz, Mustafa M.
Pernice, Wolfram H.P.
EPCOS Proceedings 2013
Phase-change materials and devices are most widely known for their use in optical and electrical non-volatile memory applications. Recently however the potential has been demonstrated for using phase-change materials and devices for a range of novel applications, including the provision of electronic 'mimics' of biological synapses and neurons (and their associated use in neuromorphic computing) and the provision of arithmetic and logic functionality. Furthermore, such neuromorphic, arithmetic and logic capabilities of phase-change materials and devices are accessible in both the optical (photonic) and the electrical (electronic) domains, or indeed via a 'mixed-mode' approach in which excitation is in the optical domain and detection is electrical, or vice-versa. This versatility of operation opens up the route towards various intriguing possibilities, such as 'all-optical' memory and computing devices, or the development of an optical analogue of the memristor, the so-called 'memflector'. In this paper we discuss such novel applications possibilities for phase-change materials and devices and present proof-of-principle of some of the underlying concepts.
Paper presented at European\Phase Change and Ovonics Symposium 2013, 2013-09-08, 2013-09-10, Berlin