Holograms are high-resolution structures that allow to project 3D images in free space. Their resolution is higher than 10000 lines/mm, and their information density surpasses 10 gigabit/cm2. Until recently, one could not image to drive high-quality holograms at video rate due to the limitations in both patterning resolution and data bandwidth. But the silicon industry evolves at warp speed. Pixel densities below 100 nm and data rates above 1 Terabit/s are now within reach, and this opens perspectives to develop video-rate switchable full-color holograms on CMOS driving circuitry. Several physical principles for generating high-speed electrically-addressable holograms are currently being investigated. We research a route based on low-power electrical control of the local refractive index of a novel meta-material at the nanometer scale.
The goal of this PhD is to develop and characterize these novel meta-materials. It will comprise a layer of a material with electrically-addressable refractive index, such as barium titanate (BTO), grown in with controlled crystal orientation by Molecular beam Epitaxy. It will further comprise a layer of fine-pitched patterns of conductive and non-conductive oxides to control the electric field with sub-100 nm precision and without causing parasitic light scattering.
In the PhD, the student will be fully in charge of the realization and characterization of the desired meta-materials. The work comprises investigation of layer growth of suitable oxides by MBE and sputtering, as well as the required patterning. Further, he/she will perform the characterization of their electro-optical properties. Finally, in collaboration with other groups, the layers need to be integrated onto drive electronics to arrive at a proof of concept video holographic device.
The candidate PhD student has a solid background in material engineering and material characterization. He/she has a strong affinity for growth (molecular beam epitaxy) and semiconductor technology (patterning) and a keen interest in optical and electro-optical properties of materials. The research will be supported and guided by several experts from different domains in imec. It is part of the plan to make video holographic projection devices, funded by the ERC Advanced Grant video holography of the supervisor Jan Genoe.
Required background: material engineering with affinity for optics (holography) and technology
Type of work: 10% literature study, 10% modeling, 40% material growth, 40% optical characterization
Supervisor: Jan Genoe
Daily supervisor: Clement Merckling
The reference code for this PhD position is SE1712-02. Mention this reference code on your application form.