Directly Writing and Rewriting Photonic Chips on Low-Loss Phase-Change Thin Films


A technical paper titled “Freeform direct-write and rewritable photonic integrated circuits in phase-change thin films” was published by researchers at University of Washington, University of Maryland, and Tianjin University.


“Photonic integrated circuits (PICs) with rapid prototyping and reprogramming capabilities promise revolutionary impacts on a plethora of photonic technologies. We report direct-write and rewritable photonic circuits on a low-loss phase-change material (PCM) thin film. Complete end-to-end PICs are directly laser-written in one step without additional fabrication processes, and any part of the circuit can be erased and rewritten, facilitating rapid design modification. We demonstrate the versatility of this technique for diverse applications, including an optical interconnect fabric for reconfigurable networking, a photonic crossbar array for optical computing, and a tunable optical filter for optical signal processing. By combining the programmability of the direct laser writing technique with PCM, our technique unlocks opportunities for programmable photonic networking, computing, and signal processing. Moreover, the rewritable photonic circuits enable rapid prototyping and testing in a convenient and cost-efficient manner, eliminate the need for nanofabrication facilities, and thus promote the proliferation of photonics research and education to a broader community.”

Find the technical paper here. Published January 2024. Read this related news article from University of Washington.

Changming Wu et al. ,Freeform direct-write and rewritable photonic integrated circuits in phase-change thin films.Sci. Adv.10,eadk1361(2024).DOI:10.1126/sciadv.adk1361

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