/Light polarization management in silicon photonics

Light polarization management in silicon photonics

PhD - Leuven | More than two weeks ago

Develop photonic integrated circuits on imec silicon photonics platform to manage light polarization.
Silicon photonics is the study and application of optical systems by CMOS-compatible fabrication processes, which is the most promising solution to enable bandwidth growth in telecom and datacom systems. For instance, Intel is shipping 100 Gbps silicon photonics optical transceivers in volume for data center applications, and Nvidia and TSMC are working on multi-GPU solutions based on silicon photonics. As a world-announced research center in this field, imec has in-house 200mm and 300mm CMOS pilot lines to process cutting-edge optical devices at wafer scale, including high-performance devices for light modulation, switching, coupling, filtering, and detection at data rates of 50GB/s and beyond. Imec Optical I/O program, together with our partners, targets optical interconnect scaling for 1cm-1km distances through advancing silicon photonics technology.



This Ph.D. research will carry out in the Optical I/O program to develop devices and circuits for polarization management. Polarization management is important for almost all silicon photonics systems because silicon waveguides have strong birefringence. The required functionalities include polarization synthesizing, analyzing, and stabilizing. During this research, the Ph.D. student is expected to master Python programming for scientific data processing, and the modeling, simulation, and characterization of silicon photonics devices and circuits.


In this research, the Ph.D. student will carry out:

  • Literature review of existing on-chip solutions for polarization management.
  • Design, simulate, layout and characterize silicon photonics devices for polarization management, such as polarization splitter and rotator, and polarization-insensitive switch.
  • Improve the device performances compared to state of the art by advanced optimization methods, such as classical local/global optimization methods, and black-box-like AI-driven optimization.
  • Design, simulate, layout, and characterize sub-systems for polarization synthesizing, analyzing, and stabilizing.
  • Demonstrate polarization management by developing a polarization-insensitive WDM filter.

Required background: Master’s degree in EE or Physics, Nanoscience and Nanotechnology Preferred: experience with Python programming, and integrated photonics design/simulation/characterization

Type of work: 30% modeling/simulation, 50% experimental, 20% literature

Supervisor: Wim Bogaerts

Co-supervisor: Qingzhong Deng

Daily advisor: Qingzhong Deng

The reference code for this position is 2023-007. Mention this reference code on your application form.

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