MSE Special Seminar: Reconfigurable Photonics: A phase change for the better

Thursday, March 19, 2020
11:00 a.m.
2110 Chem/Nuc Building, UMD College Park
Sherri Tatum

Speaker:  Carlos Rios OcampoPostdoctoal Associate, MIT

Title: Reconfigurable photonics: a phase change for the better


The integration of Phase-Change Materials (PCMs) to photonic devices such as integrated circuits, plasmonic waveguides, multilayer stacks, and metasurfaces has enabled a long-sought functionality: nonvolatile reconfiguration. Reconfigurability enables multiple responses out of a single device or system, and nonvolatility is key for the device or system to be stable with zero-power consumption. This exceptional combination of properties, which are of extreme importance in any photonic technology, is possible because PCMs (chalcogenides exemplified by Ge-Sb-Te alloys) exhibit large and nonvolatile optical properties modulation upon a solid-state phase transition.

In this talk, Dr. Ocampo will present the state-of-the-art of this novel, fast-growing field together with its challenges and potential. He will focus on his research combining photonics and phase-change materials to develop in-memory computing on integrated photonic architectures, nonvolatile switching fabrics, reconfigurable metasurfaces, bistable displays, and tunable topological photonics. Additionally, he will discuss current efforts towards developing application-specific Optical PCMs, hybrid electro-optical scalable architectures, and pathways to bridge other gaps in the field – which his research aims to tackle.


Carlos Ríos is a Postdoctoral Associate at MIT in Prof. Juejun Hu’s Photonic Materials group. Carlos received a DPhil (PhD) degree in 2017 from the University of Oxford (UK) as Clarendon Scholar, an MSc degree in 2013 in Optics and Photonics from the KIT (Germany) as an Erasmus Mundus scholar, and a BSc in Physics in 2010 from the University of Antioquia (Colombia). His scientific interests are focused on the study and development of new technologies driven by the synergy between nanomaterials and photonics. Carlos has extensively studied Chalcogenide Phase-Change materials for integrated photonics, and some of his results represent the pioneer work for this emerging field.

Audience: Clark School 

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