Photonics is widely regarded as the key enabling technology of the 21st century and its application and use in many scientific and industrial fields is accelerated though Photonic Integrated Circuits (PICs), which combine many optical components into a miniaturized chip format. Similar to electronic ICs, PICs are revolutionizing areas such as healthcare, communication and sensing and have the potential to be disruptive to the whole society. These technologies are receiving major investments through the PhotonDelta National Growth Fund program, with multiple new positions in integrated photonics. https://www.tue.nl/en/working-at-tue/scientific-staff/become-a-researcher-in-integrated-photonics?utm_id=photonics&cHash=de0b5db3cbc804409bbb186ef312d135
This is a large program involving the leading industry, research institutes and universities in the Netherlands.Environment
The positions are in the Photonic Integration Research Group, www.tue.nl/phi
which is a part of the Eindhoven Hendrik Casimir Institute (EHCI) www.tue.nl/ehci
. Our strong supporting infrastructure of laboratories, clean room infrastructure www.tue.nl/nanolab
and technology know-how allows you to focus on your research and generate new opportunities for collaboration and growth. We believe we can only be world class if our researchers are doing well and feeling good.
The Eindhoven Brainport region, where we are located, is recognized as one of the most important regions in Europe for high-tech developments by the EU. Regional focus on specific technologies creates specific ecosystems to cooperate and commercialize technologies such as integrated photonics, high-tech systems and quantum technology.
We believe that professional development comes hand-in-hand with personal development. Therefore, you will also have access to high-quality training programs on general skills and topics related to research and valorization.
3 PhD/PD positions - Photonic integrated circuits for sensors in health and agrifood
Photonics is widely regarded as the key enabling technology of the 21st century. It has a wide range of applications, ranging from optical communications, enabling our current internet, to advanced imaging and metrology tools. Sensors in particular can benefit from photonic techniques, such as spectroscopy, optical fiber sensing and medical imaging.
Photonic integrated circuits (PICs) bring together all kinds of optical functionalities together on a single chip. These functionalities include lasers, modulators, photodetectors, and all kinds of passive components, such as waveguides and optical filters. This allows for low cost, size, weight and power consumption sensing solutions. In principle this could make a wide range of sensors ubiquitous, enabling the next stage in our information society: anywhere, anytime, anyplace!
PIC technology is now mature enough to provide the backbone of the fiber-optic internet, but most of its implementations are only in the field of communications. Sensors require a vastly different set of target metrics, such as continuous tunable lasers, over larger wavelength ranges, and at (far) lower noise levels. This requires novel concepts and PIC designs. More specific, the three positions will be looking at
Position 1 - Ultra-low-noise tunable lasers for environmental gas sensing, such as methane, ammonia and CO2, for zero-emission agriculture
- You will pursue new concepts for tunable lasers, to avoid any discontinuities in tuning. Original experimental techniques will be designed to analyze and verify this performance. New control schemes, possibly based on AI/machine-learning algorithms, will be developed to achieve the ultimate limits in low-noise operation.
Position 2 - Wide-bandwidth optical sources for optical coherence tomography, using new techniques like Fourier-domain mode-locking
- Medical imaging techniques require a wide optical bandwidth and very fast tuning of a laser, for in-vivo imaging. Semiconductor based mode-locked lasers are an interesting option, but their optical bandwidth is currently too limited. Your goal will be to realize the first fully integrated Fourier-domain mode-locked laser. The goal is to obtain ultimate control of the output spectrum of such a laser. This will be achieved by careful analysis of the laser cavity dispersion and developing novel tunable intracavity filters.
Position 3 - Chips for single-molecule sensors, for biomedical applications, where we will explore the feasibility of a fully integrated approach, including low-cost read-outs
- The use of integrated interferometric structures for biosensing is well established. Such chips can be cheap and dispensable. However, read-out is still done by external optics and lasers, which limits the use in many points-of-need (e.g., at home testing) and eventually leads to an expensive total solution. You will explore the opportunities to integrate the read-out optics on the same PIC. Creative and smart solutions need to be found, by clever combination of PIC layout and signal processing, such as wavelength-modulation spectroscopy, to end up with robust and easy-to-control PICs.
For all three positions, you will connect the application requirements to the state of the art PIC platforms available from our partners, and come up with unique and novel designs, to push the boundaries of PIC technology and enable the next generations of various sensors. You will further experimentally characterize these PICs in our optical labs. In doing this, you will make the PIC technology ready for transfer to the industry, after the project. A good amount of interaction with the industry, especially in the Brainport Eindhoven region, can be expected during the project.