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/Job opportunities/On-chip Dual Comb Spectroscopy

On-chip Dual Comb Spectroscopy

PhD - Leuven | More than two weeks ago

Develop novel optical source (dual comb) for real time integrated spectroscopy with unprecedented performance.

Optical frequency combs (OFCs) are special light sources that emit light at many discrete, equally spaced frequencies. Precise control of the frequency separation between each spectral line enables many exciting applications within astronomy, timekeeping, 3D imaging life sciences and spectroscopy in general.

Dual comb spectroscopy (DCS) is a technique that promises achieving fast acquisition of high-resolution optical absorption spectra for gas, liquid or solid samples. For broadband acquisition, DCS enables acquisition speeds orders of magnitude faster than other spectroscopic techniques such as FTIR or Raman. When two OFCs with slightly different frequency spacing are mixed together, the result is an OFC where each spectral line is modulated with a frequency that is a multiple of the frequency difference between the two input OFCs. This allows for down-conversion of the optical spectrum into the radio-frequency domain which can be digitized and interpreted more easily than a high-resolution optical spectrum.


To realize an on-chip DCS system, it is necessary to realize comb sources in foundry compatible technologies. Two lines of investigation are most interesting for the generation of on-chip comb sources for DCS, namely electro-optic (EO) comb generation and Kerr combs, for which the candidate will have access to advanced processes and novel material systems.

Depending on the candidate and project progress, the candidate will work to implement at least one of these technologies in a foundry compatible, chip scale platform. This involves numerical modelling of the combs, design of waveguides with desired dispersion properties, and design and layout of combs. After fabrication, the candidate will be responsible for characterizing the comb sources and demonstrate their applicability to DCS and other comb applications.


The ideal candidate should have:

  • a solid understanding of non-linear optics.
  • a good understanding of numerical methods and programming.
  • knowledge of photonic integration technology.
  • experience with optical experiments.
  • a basic understanding of acoustics.


Required background: Photonics, Physics or equivalent

Type of work: 45% Modeling/simulation, 45% Experimental, 10% Literature

Supervisor: Bart Kuyken

Co-supervisor: Xavier Rottenberg

Daily advisor: Jon Kjellman

The reference code for this position is 2021-096. Mention this reference code on your application form.