/On-chip dual comb spectroscopy for health and environment monitoring

On-chip dual comb spectroscopy for health and environment monitoring

Leuven | More than two weeks ago

Build the future of advanced, miniaturized spectroscopy systems for health and environment monitoring.

Optical frequency combs (OFCs) are light sources with unique spectral and temporal characteristics. These sources find application in a range of demanding applications within the fields of astronomy, timekeeping, 3D imaging, life sciences and spectroscopy. Because OFCs generally cover a wide spectral range, it is possible quantitatively interrogate the atomic and molecular composition of a wide range of materials such as tissue, blood, atmospheric gases and much more.

One attractive method for using OFCs in health and environmental monitoring is with dual comb spectroscopy (DCS). DCS is attractive for its fast acquisition of high-resolution optical absorption spectra compared to common spectroscopic techniques.

The goal of this project is to realize a practical photonic integrated circuit (PIC) that can perform dual comb spectroscopy. This includes the creation of foundry compatible, chip scale OFCs that can be mass produced. Such PIC OFCs promises to dramatically reduce the cost and size of OFCs and to massively broaden the scope of OFC applications. For PIC OFCs, imec is pursuing multiple strategies for on-chip comb generation and DCS. These include mode-locked lasers, soliton generation in mirroring resonators, and electro-optic comb generation. Our main interests are in using them for sensors for monitoring of health and environment.

The candidate will get a running start characterizing existing comb sources fabricated at imec. These can be further used to build a high performance DCS system. The candidate may also design new chip scale comb sources and DCS systems for fabrication in imec’s state of the art foundry. The candidate will be exposed to cross-department collaborations and may also collaborate with university partners. This challenging topic will require dedication to self-study and a critical and independent mindset.


The ideal candidate should have:

  • knowledge of photonic integration circuits and technology
  • an understanding of numerical methods and programming
  • a basic understanding of non-linear optics


Required background: Physics, Nano technology, Optics, Photonics, Electronics Engineering or equivalent

Type of work: 50% experimental, 40% modelling and design, 10% literature

Supervisor: Bart Kuyken

Co-supervisor: Xavier Rottenberg

Daily advisor: Jon Kjellman

The reference code for this position is 2024-138. Mention this reference code on your application form.

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