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Plasmonic modulators

PhD - Leuven | More than two weeks ago

Explore >100Gb/s fab-compatible plasmonic modulators for optical computing and communications applications.

Plasmonic modulators show the prospect to modulate light at very high speed, low energy consumption and very compact footprint. Demonstration of plasmonic modulators at large scale and densely packed on a chip can potentially find applications not only in traditional optical communications but also in optical computing or sensing applications. So far, however, such devices are typically fabricated in labs using Au, which is not compatible with high-volume CMOS fab processing.  In this PhD, the student will explore device designs and concepts using CMOS fab-compatible materials for plasmonic waveguides and modulators, targeting >10x improvement in the performance metrics compared to conventional modulator designs, focusing both on footprint and modulation speed. The work will require modelling and simulation of the plasmonic modulators, design, and characterization of the fabricated devices. The device fabrication will be initially explored in a lab and transferred eventually in imec's fab. Depending on the interest of the student, some involvement in the fabrication of the devices will be possible. The student will collaborate with device and integration engineers in imec, and the work will benefit from extensive in-house know-how on CMOS, plasmonics and optical interconnects.

Required background: Engineering, Photonics, Physics or equivalent

Type of work: 15% literature, 45% experimental, 40% modeling

Supervisor: Pol Van Dorpe

Daily advisor: Marianna Pantouvaki

The reference code for this position is 2021-036. Mention this reference code on your application form.