PhD. of Pieter Geiregat
|Dries Van Thourhout
|Colloïdale 'Quantum Dots' voor geïntegreerde fotonica: van optische winst tot ultrasnelle modulatie
|Colloidal Quantum Dots for Integrated Photonics: From Optical Gain to Ultrafast Modulation
Using light instead of electricity to carry information around the globe is considered as the next 'technological revolution' as it enables high bandwidths and low energy consumption, a requirement for our increasingly 'connected' society. Already deployed on a large scale in fiber based telecommunication, it enables , among other things, the high bandwidth internet we are used to today. Up till now, this use of light as information carrier was limited to this long haul transfer as it can outperform the electrical alternatives in fabrication cost and energy consumption. On short scales, e.g. connecting different cores of a microprocessor, so-called optical interconnects still lack in performance and fabrication cost. Silicon photonics tries to remedy this by using the silicon CMOS platform used in micro-electronics to fabricate so-called photonic integrated circuits. In analogy with integration in electronics, miniaturization enables high volume and low-cost production with increased functionality. Among this increased functionality is the development of biosensors based on light as a measurement probe. However, silicon has its limits in terms of generation and manipulation of light. Therefore, novel nanomaterials such as colloidal quantum dots are combined with the platform: nanometer sized pieces of semiconductor crystals showing size-tunable and novel optical effects, excellent for amplifciation and generation of light, but also for modulation, a rather unexplored field.
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