The PhI group is leading a paradigm shift in photonic integration. We are applying the CMOS methodology, which allowed microelectronics to change the world, to the field of photonics. We are working on a generic integration process in which a wide variety of optical chips are realised from a small set of elementary optical building blocks. Examples are passive waveguides for interconnection, devices like AWG-demultiplexers and MMI-couplers, and basic building blocks for manipulating the phase, the amplitude and the polarisation of the optical signal. We are leading the Joint European Platform for Photonic Integration of InP-based Components and Circuits (JePPIX), in which Europe’s key players in the field of InP PIC manufacturing, Photonic CAD, equipment development, and technology R&D are cooperating to introduce a generic foundry model in photonics. This will reduce R&D and manufacturing costs with more than an order of magnitude, and it will bring Photonic ICs within reach for many companies active in sectors such as telecommunications, datacommunications, healthcare, metrology, sensing and security.
The clean room facilities NanoLab@TU/e became independent in January 2013. The facilities host a number of industry and academic users, and we continue to invest in state of the art process equipment. Recently we have taken delivery of a 193 nm DUV scanner (ASML PASS500/1100). This is the world’s first 193 nm tool configured for 3” wafer handling to suit photonic integrated circuit processing. New processes are currently under-development to ensure the smallest feature sizes, critical dimension control and reproducibility.