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Funded PhD position; in reconfigurable distributed optical chips for real-time signal processing and synthesis; at Department of Information technology; Ghent University; in Belgium

PhD Positions on reconfigurable distributed optical chips for real-time signal processing and synthesis

Last application date: Oct 01, 2017 08:14

Department: TW05 – Department of Information technology

Contract: Limited duration

Degree: Master of Science in photonics, applied physics, electrical engineering or information engineering

Occupancy rate: 100%

Vacancy Type: Research staff

Job description

We are looking for two motivated PhD candidates to work on photonic integrated circuits (silicon photonics) where light is distributed over many optical paths that are tuned to perform a predefined optical function. Different circuit topologies can be used, such as waveguide meshes that interfere, networks of ring resonators, or cascaded phased arrays. Such distributed circuits can be programmed for different functions, and will also be more robust against point defects.

The objective of this project is to develop circuit architectures for on-chip distributed optics, focusing at applications in signal processing. It has already been proven that a linear optical circuit can perform operations such as Fourier transforms, and more complex operations such as pattern recognition and real-time encryption have already been demonstrated using lens systems.

In this project, we will look into the circuit topologies, but also the algorithms to configure and control such circuits. Given the large number of controllable elements, distributed control algorithms will be needed, such as the nature-inspired behavior of flocks or swarms. Photonic circuits can be used for many applications, such as telecommunication, sensing, spectrometry, diagnostics. This PhD project looks into signal and data-processing applications, where the photonic circuit is used for tasks like real-time pattern recognition (e.g. header recognition for communication packets), real-time encryption, or arbitrary waveform generation.

This PhD project is part of the PhotonicSWARM project, a 5-year consolidator grant funded by the European Research Council (ERC). We offer you the opportunity to work in a large, multi-disciplinary research group that covers a broad spectrum from fundamental to very applied research in the field of integrated photonics. There will be opportunities to collaborate with other groups in Ghent University and in an international context with various partnering research institutes.

Profile of the candidate

We are looking for two PhD candidates:

  • With a background in photonics, applied physics, electrical engineering or information engineering.
  • You should have a good knowledge of optics and electronics, an affinity for information theory and algorithmic thinking, and fairly strong programming skills (Python is the standard language in our lab, but a genuine enthusiasm for programming is more important than the actual language).
  • There will also be experimental work involved, and an open mind and a multi-disciplinary attitude is a must.
  • The research work will involve simulation (electromagnetic and circuits), photonic chip design, implementation of photonic-electronic demonstrations and measurements. Chip fabrication will be based on existing processes executed in IMEC.

Deadline: Unspecified

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