Emanuele Gemo presenting his recent research at EPCOS

PGR Emanuele Gemo

Fourth year PGR Emanuele Gemo discusses his experience of presenting at this year’s E\PCOS conference.

The E\PCOS (European symposium on Phase-Change and Ovonic Science) started in 2001 as a workshop on the emerging field of phase-change material science and applications. Since then, it has been hold each year in various locations in Europe, and evolved in a conference style collecting contributions from both academic and industry research.

This year I presented my latest research work: the proposal of a novel all-photonic memory architecture, which by use of a bespoke plasmonic nanoantenna is capable to reduce both speed and energy requirements by 1 to 2 orders of magnitude with respect to the conventional configuration:

“A plasmonic route towards the energy scaling of on-chip integrated all-photonic phase-change memories

Emanuele Gemo¹, Santiago García-Cuevas Carrillo¹, Carlota Ruiz De Galarreta¹, Joaquin Faneca¹, Nathan Youngblood², Wolfram H.P. Pernice³, Harish Bhaskaran², C. David Wright¹

1-Department of Engineering, University of Exeter, North Road, Exeter EX4 4QF, UK
2-Department of Materials, University of Oxford, Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3PH, UK
3-Institute of Physics, University of Muenster, Heisenbergstrasse 11, 48149 Muenster, Germany


Phase-change photonic memory devices, conventionally implemented as a thin layer of phase-change material deposited on the top of an integrated Si or SiN waveguide, have the flexibility to be applied in a widely diverse context, as a pure memory device, a logic gate, an arithmetic processing unit and for biologically inspired computing. In all such applications increasing the speed, and reducing the power consumption, of the phase-switching process is most desirable. In this work, therefore, we investigate, via simulation, a novel integrated photonic device architecture that exploits plasmonic effects to enhance the light-matter interaction. Our device comprises a dimer nanoantenna fabricated on top of a SiN waveguide and with a phase-change material deposited into the gap between the two nanoantenna halves. We observed very considerably increased device speeds and reduced energy requirements, of up to two orders of magnitude, when compared to the conventional structure.”

The conference has been extremely interesting, as it spanned within various field: material science, optical and photonics applications, electronic devices and new applications such as neuromorphic computing. The time spent there has been undeniably valuable, and many presentations provided with lots of new ideas to be explored.
I also had the chance to meet in person with different academics and industry researchers. Among these, I have opened a channel of communication with a representative from Advanced Materials, with the view to further develop a modelling framework I contributed to build in the past.

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