PCM-net: a refractive index database of chalcogenide phase change materials for tunable nanophotonic device modelling
Abstract: The growing demand for multifunctional nanophotonic devices has led to the exploration, and utilization, of a plethora of exotic electro-optical materials. Recently, chalcogenide glass based phase change materials (PCMs) have shown utility as a tuning material for a range of nanophotonic devices. Owing to their low loss, ultrafast switching speeds and wide waveband operation, PCMs are integrated in an increasing number of next-generation tunable components, including integrated photonic switches, metasurface optics and tunable spectral filters. Nonetheless, modelling of PCM-based devices is challenging—both in terms of accurate representation of experimentally derived material properties in different phase states, and standardization of results across the research community. Further, as each device requires optimization of specific performance metrics dependent on their respective application, any inaccuracies will lead to erroneous outcomes. In this work, we introduce PCM-net (http://nekocloud.com/pnet/): an online database of the complex refractive indices of a variety of chalcogenide glass PCMs (such as GeSbTe), as an accessible and indexed repository for data sharing across the PCM community. Refractive indices (n) and extinction coefficients (k) between amorphous and crystalline states are directly extracted from experimentally derived data in numerous academic research articles, and collated into the material resource database. Due to the inaccuracies associated with our data collection methods, this data is supplemented with additional computationally generated data, obtained through WVASE® —a commercial ellipsometry analysis software package. To demonstrate the utility of PCM-net, we provide a NASA application-driven device optimization example using the optical properties of PCMs collected with our database. We anticipate the database providing great use to the PCM community and coordinated research efforts enabled by PCM-net will promote the shared repository for the selection of appropriate PCMs for tunable nanophotonic device design for a range of applications.