Chalcogenide phase-change material advances programmable terahertz metamaterials: a non-volatile perspective for reconfigurable intelligent surfaces

Kai Chen, Wenju Song, Zhaolin Li, Zihao Wang, Junqing Ma, Xinjie Wang, Tao Sun, Qinglei Guo, Yanpeng Shi, Wei Dong Qin, Aimin Song, Hou Tong Chen, Yifei Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Terahertz (THz) waves have gained considerable attention in the rising 6G communication due to their large bandwidth. However, the cost and power consumption become the major constraints for the commercialization of 6G THz systems as the frequency increases. Reconfigurable intelligent surface (RIS) comprising active metasurfaces and digital controllers has been proposed for beamforming in the 6G multiple-input-multiple-output systems, showing good potential to suppress the system size, weight, and power consumption (SWaP). Currently, their controlling diodes can hardly work up to THz frequencies. Therefore, several active stimuli have been investigated as alternatives. Among them, chalcogenide phase-change material Ge2Sb2Te5 (GST) addresses large modulation depth, picosecond switching speed, and non-volatile properties. Notably, the non-volatile GST may enable RIS systems with memory and low control power. This work briefly reviews the advances of GST-tuned THz metamaterials (MTMs), discusses the current obstacles to overcome, and gives a perspective of GST applications in the rising 6G communications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2101-2105
Number of pages5
JournalNanophotonics
Volume13
Issue number12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2 May 2024

Keywords

  • 6G
  • GeSbTe
  • non-volatile
  • reconfigurable intelligent surface
  • terahertz

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