PhD Position: Neuromorphic integrated photonics for sensing applications
Updated: 01 Oct 2023
The integrated photonics field
Photonics is widely regarded as the key enabling technology of the 21st century and its application and use in many scientific and industrial fields is accelerated though Photonic Integrated Circuits (PICs), which combine many optical components into a miniaturized chip format. Similar to electronic ICs, PICs are revolutionizing areas such as healthcare, communication and sensing, and have the potential to be disruptive to the whole society.
A diversity of PIC-based sensors have been proposed in the last years, such as environmental sensors (e.g. gas sensing), medical sensors (e.g. optical coherence tomography), fiber Bragg grating sensors for temperature or strain measurement, light detection and ranging (LiDAR) and others.
The PhD position
Recently, a new field of neuromorphic photonics is emerging, which aims to build artificial opto-electronic neurons that mimic the brain for processing information based on synapse processes. Taking advantage of their threshold-based characteristics, neuromorphic photonic devices can also be used for event-based sensing to allow recognition of patterns with an ultra-fast and energy-efficient performance.
We have recently made initial steps towards implementing opto-electronic neurons in InP integrated photonics. We demonstrated a first generation of resonant tunneling diodes (RTD), which display electrical excitable characteristics via tunneling effects. Full opto-electronic neuromorphic behavior was demonstrated by coupling the RTD with off-the-shelf external laser devices in cooperation with partners. See M. Hejda et.al. Nanophotonics 12(5), 2022.
We are now interested to pursue the monolithic integration of RTDs with photonic devices to form photonic neurons on chip, thereby setting the grounds for future large-scale neuromorphic photonic circuits. In this project, you will focus on the research of RTD-based neuromorphic photodetectors integrated with other waveguide-based photonic components and demonstrate their use in proof-of-principle event based sensing.
The work will comprise device design (incl. optical and electrical simulations), photonic chip layout, cleanroom fabrication and chip characterization in our laboratories. You will be part of the Photonic Integration (PhI) research group within the Eindhoven Hendrik Casimir Institute (EHCI). The research will be done in collaboration with European partners from academia and industry.
- A master's degree MSc in Electrical Engineering, Physics or Applied Physics
- A research-oriented attitude
- Ability to perform team work in an international environment
- Knowledge of the physics of optoelectronic devices
- Skills in programming
- Affinity with hands-on work in laboratory
- Experience with chip characterization is desirable
- Experience with cleanroom fabrication is a plus
A meaningful job in a dynamic and ambitious university, in an interdisciplinary setting and within an international network. You will work on a beautiful, green campus within walking distance of the central train station. In addition, we offer you:
- Full-time employment for four years, with an intermediate evaluation (go/no-go) after nine months. You will spend 10% of your employment on teaching tasks.
- Salary and benefits (such as a pension scheme, paid pregnancy and maternity leave, partially paid parental leave) in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities, scale P (min. €2,770 max. €3,539).
- A year-end bonus of 8.3% and annual vacation pay of 8%.
- High-quality training programs and other support to grow into a self-aware, autonomous scientific researcher. At TU/e we challenge you to take charge of your own learning process.
- An excellent technical infrastructure, on-campus children's day care and sports facilities.
- An allowance for commuting, working from home and internet costs.
- A Staff Immigration Team and a tax compensation scheme (the 30% facility) for international candidates.
38 hours per week
De Rondom 70