/Low-power, low-loss opto-electro-mechanical switches

Low-power, low-loss opto-electro-mechanical switches

PhD - Leuven | More than two weeks ago

Exploring the interaction of electrons, phonons and photons at the nanoscale will provide a new avenue towards next generation of electro-optical information technologies.

Integrated photonics is becoming an established information processing and communication technology and its integration into established electronic circuits is now at the for front of current research. Especially, electro-optical devices that provide the gateway between electronics and photonics are of upmost importance. These devices are used to encode electrical bit streams upon an optical carrier for communications at sub-nanosecond time scales. Alternative, slower (millisecond to microsecond) “switches” are used to route light or fine tune the operating point of photonic devices. However, these slow switches utilize high currents, that flow through nanoscale wires, to generate heat and thus change the path of light. And like old-school light bulbs this process is not scalable due to its immense power consumption. In this thesis, we will innovate novel opto-electro-mechanical switches, which consume orders of magnitude less power, thus enabling a new level of integration between electronics and photonics ranging from life-science to optical communication and quantum computing. Exploring this research will teach many aspects a photonic researcher/engineer will need: ranging from the theoretical background to nanotechnological fabrication to design and experimental characterization of integrated photonic devices and circuits.

Required background: Master in Electrical Engineering, Physics or Micro and Nanotechnologies

Type of work: 40% Modeling/Simulation, 20% Design, 40% Experimental

Supervisor: Kristiaan Degreve

Daily advisor: Christian Haffner

The reference code for this position is 2023-008. Mention this reference code on your application form.

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