Characterization of phase change materials for integrated photonics

Leuven - Master projects/internships
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Phase change materials as an enabler for next generation photonic components

Characterization of phase change materials for integrated photonics


Phase change materials (PCM's) exhibit a large contrast in its electrical (resistance) and optical properties (refractive index), as it switches from an amorphous to crystalline state and vice versa. The large contrast in its optical properties makes it an enabler for various integrated photonics applications like optical switches, all optical computing and photonic neural networks. The optical, electrical and endurance properties of PCM's vary significantly based on the composition of the film. This also implies that various semiconductor processing steps can impact the optical properties of the film. The objective of this work is to understand the impact of film composition and various processing steps on optical properties of different PCM's. The learning from this work will be used as a guideline for designing process flows for integrated photonic applications using phase change materials.

Type of work:

20% literature review, 70% experimental work and data analysis, 10% design of experiments.

Expected tasks:

  1. Characterization of refractive index, optical bandgap of various PCM's using spectroscopic ellipsometry.
  2. Evaluation of optical loss of PCM's materials on integrated photonic chips.
  3. Electrical characterization (2 terminal) I-V measurements of MIM structures to understand the switching threshold of different PCM's.
  4. Identifying key process steps in integrated photonics using PCM's & design of experiments for material characterization.

What we offer:

  1. Work together with experienced specialists
  2. Laboratories with state-of-the-art measurement equipment
  3. Publication in IEEE, OSA journals
  4. Thorough supervision and support









Type of project: Internship

Duration: 6 months

Required degree: Master of Engineering Technology, Master of Science, Master of Engineering Science

Required background: Materials Engineering, Nanoscience & Nanotechnology, Physics

Supervising scientist(s): For further information or for application, please contact: Sandeep Seema Saseendran (

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