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The Photonics Research Group (about 85 people) is associated with IMEC, and is part of the Department of Information Technology of Ghent University. The group is headed by Prof. Dries Van Thourhout and has been active in photonics device research for many years. The other professors in the group are Roel Baets, Peter Bienstman, Wim Bogaerts, Stephane Clemmen, Alberto Curto, Bart Kuyken, Nicolas Le Thomas, Yanlu Li, Geert Morthier, Gunther Roelkens and Kasper Van Gasse.

The research focus is integrated photonics, from design and technology development to system implementation and application-oriented research. Central themes include silicon photonics and heterogeneous integration. The application space is broad and includes telecommunication and datacommunication, computing, sensing and medicine. The group has well-equipped clean rooms and measurement labs. Furthermore the group is a regular user of (semi-)industrial technology platforms for photonic integration, in particular through multi-project-wafer offerings. The research results of the group have led to an ecosystem of spinoff companies on- or near-campus.
The main research directions are silicon nanophotonics, heterogeneous integration, optical communication, photonic (bio)sensors and photonic integrated circuits for biomedical applications in the near-infrared and mid-infrared wavelength range. More in particular, the silicon nanophotonics work focuses on the design and fabrication of SOI-based photonic devices using standard lithographic techniques compatible with CMOS-processing.  

The Photonics Research Group has been coordinating the network of excellence ePIXnet and is involved in a number of EU-projects, including the H2020 projects ActPhast4R, AQUARIUS, CALADAN, FUN-Comp, Hydroptics, InSiDe, INSPIRE, MedPhab Pilot Line, MIRPHAB Pilot Line, PIX4Life Pilot Line, MORPHIC, NEBULA, Neoteric, TopHit and PhotonHub. The group also host two EOS Research projects, INTERREG projects and several ITNs (MICROCOMB, OMT, WON, Phonsi). Furthermore, the group is partner of the Center for Nano- and Biophotonics of Ghent University and leads ePIXfab, the European Silicon Photonics Alliance.

The group has been awarded five ERC Independent Researcher Starting Grants, one ERC Consolidator Grant and two ERC Advanced Investigator Grants.