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  1. Abstract

    Analog photonic solutions offer unique opportunities to address complex computational tasks with unprecedented performance in terms of energy dissipation and speeds, overcoming current limitations of modern computing architectures based on electron flows and digital approaches. The lack of modularization and lumped element reconfigurability in photonics has prevented the transition to an all-optical analog computing platform. Here, we explore, using numerical simulation, a nanophotonic platform based on epsilon-near-zero materials capable of solving in the analog domain partial differential equations (PDE). Wavelength stretching in zero-index media enables highly nonlocal interactions within the board based on the conduction of electric displacement, which can be monitored to extract the solution of a broad class of PDE problems. By exploiting the experimentally achieved control of deposition technique through process parameters, used in our simulations, we demonstrate the possibility of implementing the proposed nano-optic processor using CMOS-compatible indium-tin-oxide, whose optical properties can be tuned by carrier injection to obtain programmability at high speeds and low energy requirements. Our nano-optical analog processor can be integrated at chip-scale, processing arbitrary inputs at the speed of light.

     
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