PhD researcher on Light on chip: emission and modulation on chip

Leuven - PhD
More than two weeks ago
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The next revolution of electronics devices is starting to show-up on the grid: the devices are not only globally interconnected but can sense and interact with their environment thanks to the advent of artificial intelligence. Sensing is a keystone for such devices, it is realized in different manner depending on the application requirements.

In the case of sensors for vehicle, it is required to perform scene detection in a very accurate and fast manner, as that would be the case for autonomous cars. Currently scene detection rely on multiple sensors that will provide different level of information depending on their detection range. Among those, the LIDAR ( Light Imaging, Detection, And Ranging ) is certainly one of the most promising device for accurate peripheral detection of surrounding scheme. One of their limitations is that they remain rather bulky as the electronics, the light source and their optical elements occupy a certain amount of space. They also rely on movable parts which hinder their long term reliability. Ultimately  such components are complex and expensive to produce. The miniaturization potential of such discrete elements is therefore reaching a limit, which prevent the massive adoption of such devices.

Imec proposes to leverage semiconductor manufacturing technology which have the capabilities to mass manufacture devices at low cost. The challenge is to integrate in a single component, all the current elements of a LIDAR on an SOC (system on chip) platform. This requires advances in miniaturization and mechanical-less beam steering and detection. This is made possible by the recent progress in semiconductor process technology (photonics, epitaxial growth, wafer bonding) and the introduction of novel smart optical materials that allow the full tunability of the device.

We are looking for a candidate that is keen on tackling the following challenges: integration of novel wide band gap material on chip, development and integration of novel materials with variable optical parameters for high speed light phase modulation, evaluation of high reflective index materials with zero absorption in the visible for light propagation on chip. The candidate will work in strong collaboration with application, design and system teams for the design and optical evaluation of the processed device.

Required background: 

Engineering, material science, physics, or related.

Type of work:

20% literature study, 50% process integration, 30% characterization.

Supervisor: Pol Van Dorpe

Daily advisor: Philippe Soussan and Simone Severi

When you apply for this PhD project, mention the following reference code in the imec application form: ref. STS 1704-21.

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