Wideband mid-infrared group IV photonic devices and platforms

Lead Research Organisation: University of Southampton
Department Name: Optoelectronics Research Centre

Abstract

Existing group IV photonics platforms and devices only use for narrow bandwidths in the mid-infrared. For several applications, such as sensing devices that can detect a variety of substances, the photonic devices will need to be usable across a wide range of mid-infrared wavelengths. This project aims to establish group IV platforms that can support low-loss transmission over these wavelengths and then develop standard photonic circuit components (such as waveguides, multimode interferometers, grating couplers) that will work for the entire wavelength range.

Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
EP/N509747/1 01/10/2016 30/09/2021
1953477 Studentship EP/N509747/1 28/09/2017 31/03/2021 Callum Stirling
 
Description C R Barber Trust fund
Amount £175 (GBP)
Organisation Institute of Physics (IOP) 
Sector Learned Society
Country United Kingdom
Start 08/2018 
End 08/2018
 
Description Research Student Conference Fund
Amount £300 (GBP)
Organisation Institute of Physics (IOP) 
Sector Learned Society
Country United Kingdom
Start 08/2018 
End 08/2018
 
Description Student Author Travel Grant
Amount $800 (USD)
Organisation International Society for Optics and Photonics (SPIE) 
Sector Charity/Non Profit
Country United States
Start 08/2018 
End 08/2018
 
Description Transfer printing of membrane waveguides onto high-transparency cladding 
Organisation University of Strathclyde
Department Institute of Photonics
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution For one area of research under this award, silicon-based waveguides and zinc selendie cladding were to be combined, for a device that would have low propagation loss in the mid-infrared wavelength range. We designed the devices, fabricated the silicon waveguides in our cleanroom and measured the resulting devices.
Collaborator Contribution For one area of research under this award, silicon-based waveguides and zinc selendie cladding were to be combinedfor a device that would have low propagation loss in the mid-infrared wavelength range. Our partners used a technique called transfer printing to place the silicon waveguides (fabricated onto a silicon membrane) on to the zinc selenide, using their custom-built tool.
Impact The work of this collaboration was presented at the Photonics West 2020 conference (see publications section).
Start Year 2018
 
Description Cheltenham Science Festival 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact A team consisting of EPSRC-funded students took over the University of Southampton's stand at Cheltenham Science Festival 2018 for three days. Over this period, the stand interacted with over 1000 people, discussing photonics and its applications including the specfic research of this award, alongside interactive demonstrations. The change in the audience's awareness of photonics and general interest of physics/engineering was noted to increase, as evaluted by feedback forms.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Laser Shark lectures 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact A series of lectures delivered to explore photonics topics and research in an unusual and light-hearted way, these workshops were delivered to visiting students from schools in areas with a low proportion progressing to higher education, as part of the University of Southampton's Widening Participation scheme. Other groups that are unlikely to progress to higher education also visitied, including young carers. The students reported an increased level of awareness of photonics and its applications in the evaluation.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019,2020
 
Description Lightwave Roadshow 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact TheLightwave Roadshow is a student-led optics and photonics outreach programme working across the South of England. Through interactive and intuitive workshops, Lightwave works to engage young people with photonics research and use this as a vehicle to encourage young people to study physics and engineering, particularly those from underrepresented backgrounds. Over scores of workshops over several years, I worked with 7000+ school students over several different activity series, notably the celebrations for the International Day of Light in 2018 and 2019 and the Photonics Music Workshop, a programme to explore photonics content through music. The majority of these activities reported an increase in interest in the relevant subject areas and awareness of photonics, particularly as many schools were engaged for repeat activities.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017,2018,2019,2020
 
Description Public talks for International Day of Light 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact For the International Day of Light in 2018 and 2019, talks were arranged to discuss photonics research and its applications in unexpected areas (such as environmental sensing or archaeology) for the general public. In 2018, the results of the event were reported at Optics + Photonics 2018 conference (see publication). In 2019, this also formed part of the Pint of Science Festival to reach a larger audience. The audience reported an increased interest in photonics and engineering in general through both these activities.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018,2019
 
Description The Photon Shop at Light Up Poole 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Light Up Poole is an annual three-day arts festival organised in Poole, Dorset, to reach an audience that would not usually engage with science outreach. Poole is also a targeted area for outreach and public engagement, as it is an area with generally higher deprivation, an aging population and lower engagement with universities. In collaboration with partners in Physics and Astronomy, 'The Photon Shop' was designed to be part of the festival to talk around the science and engineering of light and its utility on our everyday lives, illustrated through interactive demonstrations. In particular, our contribution led to increased awareness of the term 'photonics' and its meaning, as well as specific discussion about the applications of the research of this award. The former was evaluated using forms completed by the audience on exit and the latter was recorded by use of specific 'freebies' only given after a discussion (i.e. the audience member would only receive the item after having an in-depth discussion). In 2019, over 1200 people attended the Photon Shop, which increased to over 2000 in 2020. The 2020 event also included efforts to increase accessibility to a neurodiverse audience, by having specfic 'autism-friendly' sessions and activities.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019,2020
URL https://lightuppoole.co.uk/22-photon-shop/