Let there be (more) light!
Photonics is the science and technology of light. Light is fast, efficient and clean. Light can interact strongly with biomolecules, for instance in medical detection and treatment, and light propagation can be controlled with extreme spatial precision. Among the areas where photonics has a particularly large impact is communication. Driven by the development of the Internet, fibre optical communication develops rapidly towards higher capacity and is increasingly used at shorter distances, like in datacenters and high performance computing systems.
Photonics Laboratory sheds light...
We conduct application oriented research in optoelectronics and fibre optics, as well as more fundamental research on new photonic materials. We also strongly engage in teaching photonics, mainly within the Master program Wireless, Photonics and Space Engineering, as well as in the Physics bachelor course Optics.
... on new light sources and new ways to send optical signals
Optical communication is a major area of research, with efforts on system and device technologies for applications extending from long haul transmission to short reach interconnects. We develop new photonic materials and device structures for emission and detection at wavelengths spanning from the ultra-violet to the mid-infrared. In addition, new growth techniques for graphene and bismuth-telluride are investigated.
We implement new modulation formats to achieve higher spectral efficiency in optical communication channels, thereby increasing capacity. Ultralow noise optical amplifiers are developed as they allow a further increase of spectral efficiency in long and medium reach channels. The more device oriented research deals with lasers satisfying requirements for optical interconnects in terms of speed and power consumption.
The work is coordinated in the Fibre Optical Communications Research Centre (FORCE) which involves researchers from two departments, MC2 and the Department of Signals and Systems.