Low-Loss Integrated Photonic Switch Using Subwavelength Patterned Phase Change Material

Changming Wu, Heshan Yu, Huan Li, Xiaohang Zhang, Ichiro Takeuchi, Mo Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Efficient integrated photonic switches play a critical role in both interchip optical interconnects and data center networks that need to be dynamically reconfigured. Here, we demonstrate a 1 × 2 switch using phase change material Ge-Sb-Te (GST) combined with a silicon nitride microring resonator. The switch operates by utilizing the dramatic difference in the optical refractive index and extinction coefficient between the crystalline and amorphous phases of GST. By patterning and encapsulating the GST into subwavelength structures, the device achieves a low insertion loss of less than 1 dB in both output ports and can be switched reliably both photothermally and electrothermally.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)87-92
Number of pages6
JournalACS Photonics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 16 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank Prof. C. David Wright from the Department of Engineering, University of Exeter, U.K., for supplying some of the GST films used in this study and discussions on their properties. We acknowledge the funding support provided by the ONR MURI (Award No. N00014-17-1-2661). Part of this work was carried out in the University of Minnesota Nanofabrication Center, which receives partial support from the NSF through the NNIN program, and the Characterization Facility, which is a member of the NSF-funded Materials Research Facilities Network via the MRSEC program.


  • germanium antimony telluride
  • microring resonator
  • optical switch
  • phase-change materials
  • silicon photonics

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