/Integrated photonic laser sources for optical coherence tomography

Integrated photonic laser sources for optical coherence tomography

PhD - Leuven | More than two weeks ago

Develop ultra-fast sources for cutting edge optical coherence tomography imaging

Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) is a technique that allows for revealing the internal structure of layers with a high resolution. The prime application of the technique is the diagnosis of a number of diseases related to the retina. Nowadays most ophthalmologists have an  OCT device at their disposal. These specialists use the OCT devices to diagnose any disturbance to the thickness of the glaucoma or the quality of the photoreceptors etc... Lately, however, it has been recognized that the technique can be used for a much larger scope of diseases and conditions including the early diagnosis of neurodegenerative and cardiovascular diseases. These initial results have been obtained with very large and expensive equipment containing exotic sources. Miniaturizing such equipment would enable exploiting and taking-up the technique in a real-life setting. Here one can imagine handheld OCT devices employed by a general physician for a general health check. Going for a chip scale approach could enable this vision. 

Imec has developed a mature photonic chip platforms based on low loss silicon nitride  and silicon devices. These platforms have been driven by the increased need for optical interconnects for telecom and datacom applications and are now commercially deployed. However these platforms are now been developed further for other applications such as biomedical imaging, VR/AR, spectroscopy and so on. In this project we want to build on the platform to make chip scale OCT devices on chip. Here, the platform would allow to combine a number of broadband tunable lasers sources, interferometers etc.. to have a few square mm2 sized chip implementing the whole system. The main challenge in this PhD project is bringing the GaAs based lasers and detectors on this chip.

The candidate will work on the design of the chips, the (nano-) fabrication of the devices. Further significant modelling of the devices as well as their characterization needs to be done. 

The ideal candidate should have:

  • an understanding of integrated photonics
  • a good understanding of numerical methods and programming
  • experience with optical experiments


Required background: Electrical engineering, Integrated Photonics, Physics, or equivalent


Type of work: 40% modeling/simulation, 40% experimental, 20% literature

Supervisor: Bart Kuyken

Co-supervisor: Pol Van Dorpe

Daily advisor: Xavier Rottenberg

The reference code for this position is 2022-087. Mention this reference code on your application form.