All-optically modulated nonvolatile optical switching based on a graded-index multimode fiber

Yu Zhang, Shuai Liu, Jiming Chen, Siying Cheng, Wei Jin, Yaxun Zhang, Zhihai Liu, Jianzhong Zhang, Libo Yuan

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Photonic switches have attractive application prospects in optical communication data networks that require dynamic reconfiguration. Integrating optical switching devices with optical fiber, the most widely deployed photonic technology platform, can realize signal transmission and processing in practical applications. Here, we demonstrate the multilevel optical switching using the phase-change material Ge2Sb2Te5 (GST) integrated on a graded-index multimode fiber. This switching process works by exploiting the significant difference in extinction coefficient between the crystalline state and the amorphous state of the GST. Using GST to achieve the switch function, no external energy source is needed to maintain the existing state of the switch, and the device is nonvolatile. This multi-level optical switch is an all-fiber integrated device. We apply GST to the end facets of the graded-index multimode fiber by magnetron sputtering, which is a reflective structure. A pulsing scheme is used to control the optical propagation state of the optical modulation signal to realize the switching function. It can store up to 11 non-volatile reliable and repeatable levels encoded by the pump source laser with a wavelength of 1550 nm. At the same time, the switching process between states is on the order of hundreds of nanoseconds. The present experimental results demonstrate the feasibility of 11 multilevel states in the field of optical fibers commonly used in communications. It can be well coupled with the all-fiber terminal device. It also shows that the device is still applicable in the 1525 nm∼1610 nm broadband range, promising for designing future multilevel photonic switches and memory devices.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)36691-36699
Number of pages9
JournalOptics Express
Issue number20
Publication statusPublished - 26 Sept 2022
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics


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