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PostDoc Researchers - LiDAR sensors based on photonic integrated circuits

PostDoc Researchers - LiDAR sensors based on photonic integrated circuits

Aanstellingsfunctie(s)
(Postdoctoraal) onderzoeker
Faculteit(en)
Faculteit Electrical Engineering
Graduate Program(s)
Electrical Engineering
FTE
1,0
Sluitdatum
31/10/2020
Aanvraagnummer
V36.4624

Functieomschrijving

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) and fiber Bragg grating sensors for temperature or strain measurement. In recent years, the fast developments in the automotive industry towards self-driving cars have motivated a strong interest on light detection and ranging (LiDAR), which is the cornerstone technology for monitoring moving objects with high spatial resolution.

A fully solid-state PIC solution will not be sensitive to vibrations and will offer a series of additional advantages over mechanical-based LiDAR concepts, such as miniaturization, potential low-cost (it can be manufactured in large volumes in semiconductor fabs), high scanning speeds (it relies on photonic circuits used for Gigabit Internet data transmission), and flexibility for adaptive scanning (since the beam forming can be done on-chip).

Project description

The Eindhoven region and its PhotonDelta ecosystem offer ample opportunities for developing an R&D career in photonics, within large companies such as ASML and Philips or fast-growing spin-offs. At the TU-Eindhoven we have one of the world’s best equipped cleanroom laboratories for research on photonic integrated circuits. We have demonstrated advanced photonic IC’s, integrating lasers, optical amplifiers, modulators and detectors with a variety of passive components in a single chips with dimensions of a few millimeters. See https://iopscience.iop.org/0268-1242/29/8/083001. The main application areas, so far, are in telecommunications and data communications, sensors and health. The new project envisages development of a fully integrated LiDAR system with a medium scale integration for use in avionics (helicopter landing system) in the short term, and also technology developments for high scale integration targeting the automotive industry in the mid-term.

We have three open positions in the framework of a large EU-funded project called NewControl (https://www.newcontrol-project.eu/). The successful candidates will join our LiDAR team in the Photonic Integration (PhI) Group, in the framework of the NewControl project.

The NewControl consortium develops technologies for accelerating the autonomy of transportation systems, in cooperation with a large number of European partners (industry, research institutes and universities). In this project, TUe has a central role for the development of InP-based LiDAR PICs based on optical phased arrays. The NewControl consortium includes experts on fabrication technology, electronic and photonic circuit design, photonic-electronic assembly, freeform optics, system-level LiDAR architectures, etc.

We are able to appoint three persons. When appropriate, the scope/profile of the positions described below may be adjusted in order to allow optimal complementary among successful candidates. Please do indicate the position of your interest in your application.

Position 1: Ultrahigh density PICs for automotive LiDAR

The position will focus on building block development for LiDAR PICs with an ultra-high density of components targeting automotive applications. The work will comprise development of more energy efficient devices (mainly semiconductor optical amplifiers, but also others) better suited for densely integrated PICs. Device-level simulations (optical, electrical, thermal), device and circuit layout, process flow design and device fabrication are anticipated. Devices should be compatible with generic integration technology and fabrication may be done either at the Nanolab@TUe cleanroom or in cooperation with SMART Photonics (depending on complexity and customization level). The hired researcher will have the possibility to collaborate with another team member. This work is in close collaboration with SMART Photonics.

Job requirements

We are looking for candidates with PhD in Electrical Engineering, Physics or Applied Physics. The candidates should have a strong background in waveguide components and semiconductor devices (preferably semiconductor optical amplifiers, phase modulators) and good knowledge on semiconductor physics, modelling and component design. Experience with fabrication technology of III-V devices and characterization is desirable.

Position 2: Integrated tunable lasers for LiDAR beam steering

The position will focus on development of tunable lasers to meet LiDAR requirements. Main targets will be set for tuning range, linewidth, speed of tunability and output power. TUe has demonstrated a few different concepts of integrated tunable lasers, and we are now interested to customize them for LiDAR applications (there is also room for novel designs). The work will comprise testing of existing tunable lasers, extending their calibration/functionality, identifying room for improvement and customization, designing new PIC variants which better fit the application and study the implications of full integration (i.e. having both the laser and optical phased array in the same chip). The work is in collaboration with EFFECT Photonics.

Job requirements

We are looking for candidates with PhD in Electrical Engineering, Physics or Applied Physics. The candidates should have a strong theoretical and experimental background in lasers and photonic integrated circuits. Preferably, the candidate should be familiar with integrated tunable lasers (modeling, chip design and experimental characterization).

Position 3: Advanced modulation schemes in PICs for LiDAR

The researcher will carry out systems design and experiments in order to contribute to the understanding of the multiple trade-offs involved in practical LiDAR applications. The researcher is expected to carry out the design and implementation of transmission-detection experiments (using Frequency Modulated Continuous Wave - FMCW) in a laboratory setting. She/he will also contribute to experiments with optical phased arrays for beam steering. The evaluation of these photonic chips will allow us to understand the opportunity areas of our LiDAR PIC technology under development.  The work is in collaboration with Thales Group. The hired researcher will have also the possibility to collaborate with the Electro-Optic Communications group, which has a strong expertise on systems research.

Job requirements

We are looking for candidates with PhD in Electrical Engineering or Applied Physics. The candidates should have a strong background in design and implementation of laser-based optical systems. Experience with modulation techniques is expected (ideally FMCW). General knowledge on optoelectronic devices (semiconductor optical amplifiers, phase modulators, photodetectors), optics (free-space, diffractive elements), and optical communications is desirable. Experience in PICs design is a plus but not mandatory.

Functie-eisen

We are searching for candidates with good team-work capabilities. Successful candidates should have good writing and documentation skills, excellent analytical skills and communication ability. They should be proactive and able to organize their own work independently to pursue the project-oriented goals, while maintaining a high degree of collaboration with the team.

Arbeidsvoorwaarden

Conditions of employment

We offer a 2-year fixed-term position, with possibilities for extension, in a research group with an excellent reputation and strong collaboration with industry. Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities, including:

  • A gross monthly salary between € 3.353 and € 4,402, depending on experience.
  • Additionally, 8% holiday and 8.3% end-of-year annual supplements.
  • Additional benefits, including excellent technical infrastructure, child care, holiday savings schemes, and sports facilities.
  • Assistance for finding accommodation can be offered for foreigners.

The University supports the employees with diverse courses for professional development.

Informatie en sollicitatie

For more information about the project please contact dr. Victor Calzadilla (V.Calzadilla[at]tue.nl) or prof. Meint Smit (M.K.Smit[at]tue.nl).. If you are interested in this position, please send in your application by using the 'Apply now'-button on this page.

For information about terms of employment, please contact our HR department: hrservices.flux[at]tue.nl

More information on employment conditions can be found here:
https://www.tue.nl/en/working-at-tue/why-tue/compensation-and-benefits/

Application:

If you are interested, please use 'apply now'-button at the top of this page. You should upload the following (in English):

  • A cover letter explaining your motivation, background and qualifications for the position,
  • A detailed Curriculum Vitae (including a list of publications and awards),
  • Contact information of two references,
  • Copies of diplomas and a list of your courses taken and grades obtained,
  • Proof of English language skills (if applicable), and
  • All other information that might be relevant.

Candidates will be selected based on their relevant experience and skills, writing skills and publications, work experience and interviews.

Typical recruitment procedure of external candidates will involve a skype meeting, followed by a face-to-face interview with a presentation to the group in the second stage.