Silicon photonics offers an attractive platform for chip-to-chip and on-chip optical interconnects. However the semiconductor and datacom industries are continuously searching for lower-power, higher bandwidth and more cost-efficient solutions. Two-dimensional (2D) materials have recently attracted great interest for photonics applications, due to their unique opto-electronics properties, which potentially can enable on-chip active devices such as modulators, photodetectors and light-sources with smaller foot-print, low-power consumption, giga-hertz bandwidths and higher efficiency than what has been demonstrated in silicon photonics until today. This PhD topic will study how 2D materials (e.g graphene, dichalcogenides) and 2D material stacks can be implemented to enable optical functionalities (primarily optical photodetectors, potentially also modulators) towards a prototype optical link that can be implemented in the existing CMOS fabrication infrastructures.
This is a multi-disciplinary topic that will include materials characterization, device modelling and electrical/opto-electronic characterization. The student will design active photonics devices using the properties of 2D materials. Depending on his/her background and interests, the student may be involved in the fabrication of the devices, aiming for a CMOS-compatible and scalable process flow. The candidate is expected to combine multiple research fields to create the right models for the description of the devices, bringing this project to a high level of understanding. The student will learn to perform extensive electrical, optical and electro-optical characterization on the fabricated devices to build knowledge and calibrate the device model. The topic requires experimental flexibility and collaboration between different teams of imec. The candidate is therefore expected to have a passion for semiconductor physics, to be an independent worker and a good team player.
Required background: electronic engineering, physics, materials science
Type of work: 5% literature study, 35% modeling, 50% experimental work, 10% reporting in meetings, conferences and journals
Supervisor: Dries Van Thourhout
Daily advisors: Steven Brems, Marianna Pantouvaki
The reference code for this PhD position is STS1712-24. Mention this reference code on your application form.