Time-Resolved Temperature Mapping Leveraging the Strong Thermo-Optic Effect in Phase-Change Materials

ACS Photonics. 2023 Sep 29;10(10):3576-3585. doi: 10.1021/acsphotonics.3c00620. eCollection 2023 Oct 18.


Optical phase-change materials are highly promising for emerging applications such as tunable metasurfaces, reconfigurable photonic circuits, and non-von Neumann computing. However, these materials typically require both high melting temperatures and fast quenching rates to reversibly switch between their crystalline and amorphous phases: a significant challenge for large-scale integration. In this work, we use temperature-dependent ellipsometry to study the thermo-optic effect in GST and use these results to demonstrate an experimental technique that leverages the thermo-optic effect in GST to enable both spatial and temporal thermal measurements of two common electro-thermal microheater designs currently used by the phase-change community. Our approach shows excellent agreement between experimental results and numerical simulations and provides a noninvasive method for rapid characterization of electrically programmable phase-change devices.