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Fast and energy-efficient non-volatile III-V-on-silicon photonic phase shifter based on memristors

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posted on 2023-05-25, 16:02 authored by Zhuoran Fang, Bassem Tossoun, Antoine Descos, Di Liang, Xue Huang, Geza Kurczveil, Arka Majumdar, Raymond G. Beausoleil
Silicon photonics has evolved from lab research to commercial products in the past decade as it plays an increasingly crucial role in data communication for next-generation data centers and high performance computing1. Recently, programmable silicon photonics has also found new applications in quantum2 and classical 3 information processing. A key component of programmable silicon photonic integrated circuits (PICs) is the phase shifter, traditionally realized via the thermo-optic or plasma dispersion effect which are weak, volatile, and power hungry. A non-volatile phase shifter can circumvent these limitations by requiring zero power to maintain the switched phases. Previously non-volatile phase modulation was achieved via phase-change4 or ferroelectric materials5, but the switching energy remains high (pico to nano joules) and the speed is slow (micro to milli seconds). Here, we report a non-volatile III-V-on-silicon photonic phase shifter based on HfO2 memristor with sub-pJ switching energy (~400fJ), representing over an order of magnitude improvement in energy efficiency compared to the state of the art. The non-volatile phase shifter can be switched reversibly using a single 100ns pulse and exhibits an excellent endurance over 800 cycles. This technology can enable future energy-efficient programmable PICs for data centers, optical neural networks, and quantum information processing.



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