Resistive switching: A new way to tame light

The modern telecommunication industry relies heavily on optical modulation, utilizing modulators designed for this purpose to convert electrical data into photons. The efficiency of these optoelectronic modulators may be increased through their integration onto electronic chips, which would boost their performance while scaling down their dimensions for mobile applications. E. Battal, A. Ozcan and A. K. Okyay recently introduced a novel electro-optic modulation method utilizing reversible atomic scale alterations that can be integrated into resistive switching devices. Resistive switching, a non-volatile and reversible property based on atomic scale modifications, is an ideal phenomenon for the improvement of optical modulation efficiency. By using ZnO as the active material, the Okyay Team was able to modulate light in the infrared reflection spectrum of the device between two resistance states. The results of this work can allow the design of alternative modulation schemes such as reconfigurable non-volatile surfaces, imagers and emitters, as well as electro-optic memories. This study thus demonstrates the viability of the resistive switching phenomenon for electro-optic modulation, and has been published as an Inside Front Cover in Advanced Optical Materials, 2 (12), 1149-1154, 2014.

DOI: 10.1002/adom.201400209

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