/Non-reciprocal integrated photonic devices

Non-reciprocal integrated photonic devices

PhD - Leuven | More than two weeks ago

Advanced integrated photonic systems like transceivers, LiDARs, routers, ..., rely on internal isolation between ports for which symmetry-breaking devices still need development

Photonics, the science of generating and/or processing light waves on a micrometer-scale, is enabling evermore applications, including LED-lighting, fiber-to-the-home internet, solar panels, displays and image sensors. Recent progress in nano-fabrication now also allow to produce large-scale photonic circuits on wafer-scale with CMOS-compatible processes, providing cost-effective high-quality optical systems. Imec is playing a crucial role in the development of wafer-scale photonics, and already developed state-of-the-art integrated photonics platforms in visible and near infrared for high-speed optical communication and sensing. While these platforms already support reciprocal static and dynamic photonic components, the integration of non-reciprocal functionality at device-level, e.g., isolators or circulators, still represent a challenge. These devices are key for system architecture involving receive and transmit branches that share input and output ports, e.g., transceivers or co-linear LiDARs.

This PhD will tackle the development of circulators in mature integrated photonic platforms. Two main routes will be compared that rely, on the one hand, on the introduction of non-reciprocal materials, e.g., YIG, in the photonic stack so as to produce passive non-reciprocal devices at the expense of increased production complexity, and, on the other hand, on the introduction of symmetry-breaking stimuli by means for example of travelling acoustic waves applied as a background to the photonic circuit in which light otherwise propagate.


The ideal candidate should have:

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

Required background: Engineering Science

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

Supervisor: Pol Van Dorpe

Co-supervisor: Xavier Rottenberg

Daily advisor: Roelof Jansen

The reference code for this position is 2022-098. Mention this reference code on your application form.