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We demonstrate a real-time, reusable, and reversible integrated optical sensor for temperature monitoring within harsh environments. The sensor architecture combines the phase change property of chalcogenide glasses (ChG) with the high-density integration advantages of high index silicon waveguides. To demonstrate sensor feasibility, ChG composition Ge40S60, which is characterized by a sharp phase transition from amorphous to crystalline phase around 415 °C, is deposited over a 50 µm section of a single mode optical waveguide. The phase transition changes the behavior of Ge40S60 from a low loss to high loss material, thus significantly affecting the hybrid waveguide loss around the phase transition temperature. A transmission power drop of over 40dB in the crystalline phase compared to the amorphous phase is experimentally measured. Moreover, we recover the amorphous phase through the application of an electrical pulse, thus showing the reversible nature of our compact temperature sensor. Through integrating multiple compositions of ChG with well-defined phases transition temperatures over a silicon waveguide array, it is possible to determine, in real-time, the temperature evolution within a harsh environment, such as within a nuclear reactor cladding.

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