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Reconfigurable Image Processing Metasurfaces with Phase-Change Materials

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posted on 2023-11-24, 17:00 authored by Michele Cotrufo, Shaban B. Sulejman, Lukas Wesemann, Md. Ataur Rahman, Madhu Bhaskaran, Ann Roberts, Andrea Alù
Optical metasurfaces have been enabling reduced footprint and power consumption, as well as faster speeds, in the context of analog computing and image processing. While various image processing and optical computing functionalities have been recently demonstrated using metasurfaces, most of the considered devices are static and lack reconfigurability. Yet, the ability to dynamically reconfigure processing operations is key for metasurfaces to be able to compete with practical computing systems. Here, we demonstrate a passive edge-detection metasurface operating in the near-infrared regime whose image processing response can be drastically modified by temperature variations smaller than 10{\deg} C around a CMOS-compatible temperature of 65{\deg} C. Such reconfigurability is achieved by leveraging the insulator-to-metal phase transition of a thin buried layer of vanadium dioxide which, in turn, strongly alters the nonlocal response of the metasurface. Importantly, this reconfigurability is accompanied by performance metrics - such as high numerical aperture, high efficiency, isotropy, and polarization-independence - close to optimal, and it is combined with a simple geometry compatible with large-scale manufacturing. Our work paves the way to a new generation of ultra-compact, tunable, passive devices for all-optical computation, with potential applications in augmented reality, remote sensing and bio-medical imaging.

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