Raja Bilal Azhar
Undergraduate Research and Innovation Scholar
Investigating New Optical Phase Change Materials
Materials Science and Engineering
Optical Phase Change Materials (O-PCMs) are materials that can greatly change their optical properties after a solid phase transition, which makes them extremely unique for applications in electronic and photonic devices. O-PCMs have important photonic applications such as optical switches, tunable emitters and absorbers, nonvolatile display, and all-optical computers, thus finding a better O-PCM can have a huge impact. The aim of this project is to create a new O-PCM with superior photonic properties to the current O-PCMs. Current O-PCMs are unable to form large-scale photonic circuits, and they’re not practical for smaller devices. We want to create an O-PCM with improved photonic properties, such as low optimal loss, large optical contrast, and better glass forming ability.
“I want to use the SuperUROP to familiarize myself with the path that researchers follow to derive applications from theoretical knowledge. I learned about photonic materials in my lab for 3.024 (Electronic, Optical, and Magnetic Properties of Materials), and I saw their promise and their potential. It will be an amazing learning opportunity to create a new photonic material from my understanding of the fundamentals and to expand on that along the way. I’ m excited about the applications of the new material.”