Nonvolatile All-Optical 1 × 2 Switch for Chipscale Photonic Networks
Wright, C. David
Pernice, Wolfram H. P.
Advanced Optical Materials
This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Integrated chip-level photonics has the potential to revolutionize future computer systems by eliminating the “von-Neumann information bottleneck” and the power losses resulting from the use of electrical interconnects. Yet, the need for optical-to-electrical conversion has so far hindered the implementation of chip-level all-optical routing schemes, which remain operational without continuous power consumption. Here, a crucial component to successful implementation of such all-photonic networks is demonstrated – an effective, practicable all-optical nonvolatile switch. Current integrated all-optical switches require constant bias power to operate, and lose their state when it is removed. By contrast, our switch is entirely nonvolatile, with the direction of light flow altered by switching the phase state of an embedded phase-change cell using 1 ps optical pulses. High on/off switching contrast devices are achieved that are fully integrated and compatible with existing photonic circuits. It is shown that individual switching events occur with transition times below 200 ps and thus hold promise for ultrafast light routing on chip. The approach offers a reliable and simple route toward hybrid reconfigurable photonic devices without the need for electrical contacting.
Funded by: DFG. Grant Numbers: PE 1832/1-1, PE 1832/2-1; EPSRC. Grant Numbers: EP/J018783/1, EP/M015173/1, EP/M015130/1; Clarendon Fund
This is the author accepted manuscript. The final version is available from Wiley via the DOI in this record.
First published: 6 October 2016