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PhD on Manipulation of the Polarization of Light with Integrated Photonics

PhD on Manipulation of the Polarization of Light with Integrated Photonics

Electrical Engineering
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Job description

Motivation and context

Photonics is regarded as a key enabling technology by the European Commission and its application and use in many scientific and industrial fields is accelerated through Photonic Integrated Circuits (PICs). The photonic integration research group (PhI) at TU/e has pioneered the concept of generic photonic integration platforms and continues to engage in research and development activities to extend the capabilities of such platforms based on the InP material system. It coordinates JePPIX, the Joint European Platform for Photonic Integration of Components and Circuits, and works together with Europe's main players in the photonic integration industry to provide access to this technology and enhance existing platforms.

Together with our partners, we aim to extend the InP platform capabilities with components for polarization manipulation and will initiate this activity in a soon to start European project which focuses on InP PICs for next-generation metro and access networks. We are looking for a PhD candidate that is eager to take this opportunity and perform innovative research on integrated polarization handling components. The candidate is expected to work in close collaboration with project partners involving well-known knowledge institutes and companies within the PIC industry.

Work framework

We are looking for a PhD candidate for the duration of 4 years. The candidate is expected to explore novel methods and designs for integrated polarization converters and phase shifters and realize those in generic InP PIC platforms. In addition, the candidate shall investigate new functions that are enabled by these basic components, in particular for coherent receiver applications. 

Possible research questions that shall be addressed are:

  • In which ways can a higher degree of polarization control benefit integrated coherent receivers?
  • What novel functions can be realized in photonic integration platforms using polarization control?

Relevant publications:

[1] Dzibrou, D.O., Tol, J.J.G.M. van der & Smit, M.K. (2013). “Tolerant polarization converter for InGaAsP-InP photonic
integrated circuits”. Optics Letters, 38(18), 3482-3484.

[2] Tol, J.J.G.M. van der, Felicetti, M. & Smit, M.K. (2012). “Increasing tolerance in passive integrated optical polarization converters”. J. Lightwave Technology, 30(17), 2884-2889

[3] L. M. Augustin et al., “InP-Based Generic Foundry Platform for Photonic Integrated Circuits,” IEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Quantum Electronics, vol. 24, no. 1, pp. 1–10, Jan. 2018, doi: 10.1109/JSTQE.2017.2720967

Why you should apply

This PhD position offers you an exciting work environment where you can frequently interact with our local and international colleagues who all constitute to a vibrant, young and dynamic research community, the Photonic Integration group. Furthermore, you will be able to work together with some of the pioneers and experts of photonic integration technology and benefit from a vast network that we have built within the PIC community. The research group is tightly connected to industrial collaborators such as design houses and foundries and has a track record in bringing research outcome to commercialization with direct industrial and societal impact. In addition, you will have access to a state-of-the art cleanroom with up-to-date manufacturing equipment and modern characterization and lab facilities. Finally, working on a H2020 project provides further means to network and collaborate between institutions on a European level.

Department and Institute embedding

The department of electrical engineering holds multiple capacity groups that relate to photonic integration technology and offers many possibilities for exploration of novel ideas and the initiation of new collaborations. In addition, the Institute for Photonic Integration, a joint institute with the department of Applied Physics, connects all photonic researchers and actively promotes interdisciplinary thinking, providing an ideal environment for cross-collaborations.

Job requirements

We are looking for candidates who meet the following requirements

  • A MSc degree (or soon to defend) in (Applied) Physics, Optical Science, Electronics, Electrical Engineering, or similar
  • Solid background in optics, opto-electronics, semiconductors and/or photonics
  • Knowledge in electronic or photonic component design and simulation is of advantage
  • Knowledge in integrated optics is of advantage
  • Ability to work independently with a systematic approach
  • Strong analytical and research capabilities
  • Fluently spoken and written English.

Conditions of employment

  • A meaningful job in a dynamic and ambitious university with the possibility to present your work at international conferences.
  • A full-time employment for four years, with an intermediate evaluation after one year.
  • To support you during your PhD and to prepare you for the rest of your career, you will have free access to a personal development program for PhD students (PROOF program).
  • A gross monthly salary and benefits in accordance with the Collective Labor Agreement for Dutch Universities.
  • Additionally, an annual holiday allowance of 8% of the yearly salary, plus a year-end allowance of 8.3% of the annual salary.
  • A broad package of fringe benefits, including an excellent technical infrastructure, moving expenses, and savings schemes.
  • Family-friendly initiatives are in place, such as an international spouse program, and excellent on-campus children day care and sports facilities.

Information and application

More information

Do you recognize yourself in this profile and would you like to know more?
Please contact dr. J.J.G.M. van der Tol, j.j.g.m.v.d.tol[at] or
dr. Weiming Yao, w.yao[at]

See here for more information about Phl research group.

For information about terms of employment, click here.

Please visit to find out more about working at TU/e!


We invite you to submit a complete application by using the 'apply now'-button on this page.
The application should include a:

  • Cover letter in which you describe your motivation and qualifications for the position.
  • Curriculum vitae, including a list of your publications and the contact information of three references.
  • Brief description of your MSc thesis.

We look forward to your application and will screen it as soon as we have received it. Screening will continue until the position has been filled.