Reconfigurable inverse designed phase-change photonics


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Integrated photonic network-on-chip (NoC) fabrics can provide multiple terabits per second (Tbps) bandwidth for high-performance computing servers supporting the latest artificial intelligence. To maximize the utility of the photonic hardware, these optical networks can multiplex data streams in multi-dimensional channels encoded in optical wavelengths, modes, and polarization states. A generic photonic platform that can be reconfigured to implement functionalities in those dimensions is highly desirable to streamline the design and manufacturing of integrated photonic networks. Here, we demonstrate a multi-functional photonic device using phase-change material Sb2Se3 that can be reconfigured from a wavelength-division demultiplexer to a mode-division demultiplexer. The reconfiguration is achieved by direct laser writing of phase patterns optimized with the inverse design technique. The demonstrated programmable phase-change photonic devices hold immense promise for a wide range of photonic applications requiring adaptable functionalities, including on-chip and in-package optical interconnects, optical signal processing, photonic tensor cores, and future optical computing for artificial intelligence.
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