The fundamental research of the Institute for Photonic Integration is a continuation of the research which took place in the TU/e research school COBRA (Inter-University Research School on Communication Technologies Basic Research and Applications). Because of this history, IPI has an extensive staff of researchers and a large cleanroom (800 m2) optimized for photonics R&D. The research school has been one of the world’s leading proponents of photonics research for many years. The research of IPI has three categories: materials, integrated circuits and systems.
In terms of materials, a central focus is (the improvement of the optical and photonic qualities of the base materials). This requires a special kind of expertise and infrastructure to understand the electrical, physical and optical aspects up to atomic level. The TU/e Photonics and Semiconductor Nanophysics (PSN) group is mainly responsible for this research, but the groups Physics of Nanostructuurs (FNA) en Plasma and Materials Processing (PMP) also contribute their share.
Research into photonic integrated circuits is geared to the integration of increasingly more and smaller components on a single chip, enabling more and more functions to be combined in the chips, making them faster, smaller, more energy-efficient and cheaper. IPI concentrates on four photonic base elements: passive waveguide structures, phase manipulators, optical amplifiers and polarization manipulators. The Photonic Integration Group of TU/e is working on this research.
The COBRA research into systems covers all data networks, from worldwide networks to networks in the home, all of which have an influence on each other. The research focuses on aspects like network hubs such as datacenters or data transmission across great distances. This work is being done by the TU/e Electro-Optical Communication Systems group.
Also very closely involved is the University of Twente Complex Photonic Systems group whose work targets the manipulation of light in nanophotonic meta-materials. In addition, the Twente Laser Physics and Nonlinear Optics group is also involved and there is close collaboration with the Optics Research Group of TU Delft.