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News & Highlights:

EU Projects kick-off meetingsTweet This   JAN. '17 - In January, the Photonics Research Group participated in a number of kick-off meetings of the following EU-funded projects:
  - PIXAPP (H2020): Photonic Integrated Circuits Assembly and Packaging Pilot Line (PI: Roel Baets)
  - Aquarius (H2020): Broadband Tunable QCL Based Sensor for Online and Inline Detection of Contaminants in Water (PI: Gunther Roelkens)
  - Terafood (Interreg): Compacte en lage kost Terahertz sensor voor het monitoren van voedselkwaliteit (PI: Bart Kuyken)
  - Safeside (Interreg): Analysesysteem voor branden en gaslekken op basis van infrarood spectroscopie (PI: Gunther Roelkens)

Season's GreetingsTweet ThisTake a look at our review of 2016

Indigo announces successful series-A financing roundTweet This  DEC. '16 - Indigo Diabetes nv (Indigo), a spin-off from Ghent University (UGent) and imec, today announces the successful closure of a 7 million Euros series-A financing round. The funding is provided by an international investment syndicate led by Thuja Capital Healthcare Fund II (The Netherlands) and PMV (Belgium), and includes Sensinnovat, Parana Management Corp, Qbic Arkiv Fund, Fidimec, SOFI, Manuardeo and Capricorn ICT Arkiv as co-investors. This financing success will fuel the company’s development towards measuring and managing blood glucose levels without the need for finger pricks.

Full press release available.

Prof. Wim Bogaerts receives prestigious ERC Consolidator Grant  DEC. '16 - Wim Bogaerts has received a prestigious Consolidator Grant, worth about 2 million euros, from the European Research Council. These fellowships allow young researchers to carry out frontier research over five years to develop their own research team. The European Research Council ERC is part of the European Framework Programme for Research and Innovation, Horizon 2020, and next year celebrates its tenth anniversary.

In the PhotonicSwarm project, Wim Bogaerts will create a new class of programmable optical chips that can be used in communications and sensing, but also for high-speed optical computations, such as encryption for secure fiber-optic links. The optical chips, built on IMEC’s state-of-the-art silicon photonics technologies, enable the ‘programming’ of the optical functions. In contrast with today’s optical chips that only support a single function, programmable optical chips are suited for a variety of applications (communication, sensing, …) and are more resilient against defects. These programmable chips will also lower the barriers for innovating entrepreneurs and the maker community to experiment with photonics in new applications.

IEEE Photonics Society Benelux Chapter 21st Annual Symposium  NOV. '16 - The 21st Annual Symposium of the IEEE Photonics Society Benelux Chapter was hosted by Ghent University on November 17-18 2016. Over 140 participants from UGent, VUB, ULB, UMons, TU/e, TU/Delft, Twente Uni, KUL, imec, VU Amsterdam attended the 2-day symposium. Plenary talks were given by Prof. Eli Kapon (EPFL, Switzerland), Dr. Jeroen Koelemeij (VU Amsterdam, The Netherlands) , Dr. Chris Broderick (University of Bristol, U.K.) and Prof. Guy Millot (University of Bourgogne, France). The Symposium was preceded by a sightseeing tour through the historic centre of Ghent and a "Women in Photonics" event. Besides the plenary talks, two poster sessions were held and 6 parallel oral presentation sessions. Best Poster Awards were awarded to Médéric Loyez (UMons) and to Suzanne Bisschop (UGent).

Optical Society of America Fellow 2017  NOV. '16 - Prof. Roel Baets has been elected a 2017 Fellow Member of the Optical Society of America (OSA). More info.

Taiwan's Photonics Delegation visits UGent  OCT. '16 - A strong Taiwanese Photonics Delegation visits Ghent University with the aim of fostering research collaborations. Through the Taipei Representative Office in the EU and Belgium, professors from National Taiwan University, National Cheng Kung University, National Chung Hsing University, National Chiao Tung University, National Kaohsiung University of Applied Sciences and National Sun Yat-sen University had a fruitful meeting with both professors from the Photonics Research Group as well as from the Centre for Microsystems Technology.

Quantum spin-off project  OCT. '16 - Belgian final year highschool-students from Sint-Bavohumaniora (Ghent) visit Photonics Research Group and cleanroom in the framework of the Quantum spin-off project. The aim of the Quantum spin-off project is to connect Schools with high-tech research and entrepreneurship. The students have visited our research lab and the cleanroom where they performed photolithography to pattern a logo on a silicon chip. Their next step is to think about an application area and product in the field of silicon photonics.

European Optical Society Fellow 2016  SEP. '16 - Prof. Roel Baets has been elected a 2016 Fellow Member of the European Optical Society (EOS) for his contributions to the field of integrated photonics and its applications in telecommunication and life science as well as for leadership in the European integrated photonics community.

Silicon Photonics Summer School 2016  AUG. '16 - In the framework of the EU plat4M project and in collaboration with ePIXfab, the Photonics Research Group has organzed a Silicon Photonics Summer School for the second time. After a very successful 2014 edition, we were pleased to have a full crowd this year as well. The School included a total of 23 lecture hours, two poster sessions and a full-day hands-on design skill session. Over 40 universities, research institutes or companies were present to learn all there is to know about Silicon Photonics, from the very basics to industrial lectures and some current 'hot' topics were covered. Part of the School was publicly livestreamed and reached over 150 participants worldwide. All info regarding the School can be found on School's website.

Photonics Research Group prominent at CLEO conference 2016  JUN. '16 - At the CLEO:2016 Conference in San José (US), the Photonics Research Groups presents 12 papers, including a post-deadline paper from Weiqiang Xie. Besides the papers, some posters are presented as well and Prof. Baets will give an invited tutorial lecture on Photon-Phonon interaction with high contrast waveguides.

Photonics PhD-students scoop awards  MAY. '16 - An overview of the prizes won by our PhD-students this month:
- ir. Andreas De Groote: European Materials Research Society Graduate Student Award
- ir. Jochem Verbist: Best Paper Award on ECIO 2016
- ir Raphael Van Laer: Vocatio Award (category Science & Technology)

A special mentioning as well to Andreas De Groote for supporting a group of final year high-school students from Sint-Jozefslyceum in 'inventing' a Zika-virus lab-on-chip detection system. With their project, they won the Belgian qualifiers, followed by winning the finals of the European Quantum-Spinoff project.

Raith Voyager e-beam lithography system  MAY. '16 - This month, a state-of-the-art and high-performance instrument, Raith Voyager Electron-Beam Nanolithography System has now been installed in the UGent Cleanroom. The tool with a 50kV electron-beam column, less than 2.5 nm beam size and 50 MHz pattern generator can pattern features down to 10 nm or smaller over large areas in the millimeter and centimeter range and can provide a pattern placement accuracy of sub-10 nm. The e-beam has been purchased with funding from the Flemish Government Hercules foundation (now FWO - Research Foundation Flanders).

Photonics Research Group moves to new building   MAR. '16 - As of March 2016, the Photonics Research Group has moved to a brand new university building, the iGent tower at the Tech Lane Ghent Science Park at the outskirts of Ghent. The cleanrooms are at the same Science Park, just 100 meters away from the iGent tower. The other research groups from the INTEC and ELIS dept. have moved as well which will enhance and stimulate future collaborations.

Invited paper at Photonics West 'Isipp-200: a silicon photonics platform supporting optical data rates beyond 50Gb/s'   FEB. '16 - Silicon photonics has been selected by a growing number of industrial players to develop their next generation transceivers, typically towards 100GbE based on various 4x25Gb/s architectures. Future systems will aim at 400GbE relying on 8x50Gb/s architectures for instance. To support this bandwidth scaling imec has developed a single-chip silicon photonics solution capable of data rates at 50Gb/s and beyond. In this paper we will review the key building blocks of imec’s 200mm silicon photonics platform (ISIPP200) technology that enable modulation and detection at such data rates.

Photonics Research Group participates in two EU Horizon 2020 Pilot Line projects  JAN. '16 - The Photonics Research Group is a partner (through its association with imec) of two newly starting European Horizon2020 Pilot Line projects. These Pilot Lines aim to create advanced technology platforms that are openly accessible to European industry and academia.
The first Pilot Line project is MIRPHAB. This project aims to develop technology platforms for mid-infrared photonic devices for sensing and vibrational spectroscopy. The project is coordinated by CEA-LETI and Ghent's involvement is led by prof. Gunther Roelkens.
The second Pilot Line is PIX4life. This project is coordinated by imec and aims to develop a silicon nitride photonic IC platform for life science applications, such as biosensing and fluorescence microscopy and cytometry. The Ghent contribution is led by prof. Roel Baets.

IEEE Photonics Society ACP 2015 Best Student Paper Award  NOV. '15 - Hongtao Chen (Photonics Research Group) et al. wins IEEE Photonics Society ACP 2015 Best Student Paper Award at the Asia Communications and Photonics Conference 2015 with the paper: "Sub-5V Germanium Waveguide Avalanche Photodiode based 25 Gb/s 1310 nm Optical Receiver".

The paper is accessible at doi:10.1364/ACPC.2015.AM1B.4
   Nature Photonics publication: First-time demonstration of laser arrays monolithically grown on 300mm silicon wafers  OCT. '15 - Researchers from the Photonics Research Group and imec demonstrate, for the first time, arrays of indium phosphide lasers monolithically integrated on 300mm silicon substrates in a CMOS pilot line. This breakthrough achievement, published in Nature Photonics, provides a path toward high-volume manufacturing of cost-effective photonic integrated circuits (PICs) with monolithically integrated laser sources. Such laser-powered PICs will revolutionize data transfer between future logic and memory chips.

The result is published in Nature Photonics: