Postdoctoral Research Associate in Integrated Photonics in Optical Communications

  • Opportunity to contribute to the research and development of a key research programme in Integrated Photonics in Optical Communications
  • Located on the Camperdown Campus at the School of Physics, join a community of world-class scientists
  • Full-time 12 months (with a further 12 months extension) fixed term with a base salary of $93K – $103K p.a., plus leave loading and a generous employer’s contribution to superannuation
  • Closing date: 11:30pm, Sunday 6 September 2020
  • For more information on the position and how to apply, please click here.

Light, sound, action: extending the life of acoustic waves on microchips

7 May 2020

Research opens door to low-heat, low-energy, fast internet

Microchips without electrons will allow for the invention of data processing systems that don’t overheat, have low energy costs and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This foundational work will help scientists invent systems to achieve those aims.

Authors Dr Birgit Stiller (left) and Dr Moritz Merklein in the Sydney Nanoscience Hub labs.

Authors Dr Birgit Stiller (left) and Dr Moritz Merklein in the Sydney Nanoscience Hub labs.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               
Scientists in Australia and Europe have taken an important step towards removing ‘hot’ electrons from the data chips that are a driving force in global telecommunications.

Researchers from the University of Sydney Nano Institute and Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light say that chips using light and sound, rather than electricity, will be important for the development of future tech, such as high-speed internet as well as radar and sensor technology. This will require the low-heat, fast transmission of information.

“As demand for high bandwidth information systems increase, we want to get ahead of the curve to ensure we can invent devices that don’t overheat, have low energy costs and reduce the emission of greenhouse gases,” said Dr Moritz Merklein from the Eggleton Research Group in the School of Physics and Sydney Nano.

The idea is to use sound waves, known as phonons, to store and transfer information that chips receive from fibre-optic cables. This allows the chips to operate without needing electrons, which produce heat. The team was the first in the world to successfully manage this process on chip.

However, information transferred from fibre-optic cables onto chips in the form of sound waves decays in nanoseconds, which is not long enough to do anything useful.

“What we have done is use carefully timed synchronised pulses of light to reinforce the sound waves on-chip,” said Dr Birgit Stiller, who has moved from the University of Sydney to lead an independent research group at the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light in Germany.

Dr Birgit Stiller.

Dr Birgit Stiller.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               

“We have shown for the first time that refreshing these phonons is possible and that information can therefore be stored and processed for a much longer time,” she said.

The scientists carefully timed pulses of light to extend the lifetime of the information stored in sound waves on the chip by 300 percent, from 10 nanoseconds to 40 nanoseconds.

The research, published in the journal Optica, was done in collaboration with the Laser Physics Centre at the Australian National University and the Centre for Nano Optics at the University of Southern Denmark.

“We plan to use this method to extend how long the information remains on-chip,” said Dr Merklein, also from the Institute of Photonics and Optical Science at the University of Sydney.

Dr Stiller said: “Acoustic waves on chips are a promising way to store and transfer information.

“So far, such storage was fundamentally limited by the lifetime of the sound waves. Refreshing the acoustic waves allows us to overcome this constraint.”

Associate Professor Christian Wolff, a project collaborator from the University of Southern Denmark, said: “Theoretically, this concept can be extended to the microsecond regime.”

This proof-of-principle demonstration opens many possibilities for optical signal processing, fine filtering, high-precision sensing and telecommunications.

Declaration

This research was supported by the Australian Research Council (CE110001010, FL120100029); and the European Union H2020 Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (713694).

JSSL Collaboration Workshop and Opening Ceremony

On 28 November 2019, the Jericho Smart Sensing Laboratory (JSSL) Collaboration Workshop was organised by the Eggleton Research Group in collaboration with the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) and the Defence Science and Technology (DST). The workshop was held in the Sydney Nanoscience Hub.

The workshop aimed to enhance collaboration between the JSSL team and the RAAF end-users as well as DSTG researchers.

To start the workshop, Professor Benjamin Eggleton, Director of Sydney Nano and Principle Investigator of the JSSL project, gave the audiences an introduction of the JSSL projects, including its history, its vision and strategy, its milestones and long-term plans. His talk was followed by a presentation on the Personas, a design innovation activity, from Ms Carol Mackay of the Design team. The guests then enjoyed a tour of the Sydney Nanoscience Hub and JSSL laboratories, where some interesting demonstrations of JSSL projects were made.

After the networking lunch, the workshop continued with breakout sessions followed by a report back discussion when valuable feedback from the end-users and collaborators was received. The workshop was concluded by the opening ceremony of the Jericho Smart Sensing Laboratories and Command Centre with the presence of Dr Paul Scully-Power, Australia’s first astronaut. The other Guests of Honour were Professor Laurent Rivory – the University’s Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research) and RAAF’s Plan Jericho Director Group Captain Lyle Holt.

 

IPKISS and Lumerical Workshop

On 26 and 27 September 2019, a workshop was successfully conducted by the Eggleton Research Group in partnership with two leading international companies in the field of optical circuit design and modelling, Luceda Photonics and Lumerical Inc. The workshop focused on using the software packages IPKISS and Lumerical for component simulation and circuit layout.
During the workshop, the key speakers Mr. Pierre Wahl, the founder of the Luceda Photonics and Mr. Yi-hao Chen from Lumerical helped incorporate numerical modelling and familiarise participants with a platform to design and optimise photonic circuits.

Prof Hosting Federal Minister Hon Karen Andrews MP

Federal Minister for Industry, Science and Technology, Hon Karen Andrews MP at The Sydney Nano Science Hub

James Coyte Joins Jericho Smart Sensing Laboratory

Welcome James Coyte who joins the @EggletonLab as the Electronics and Development Engineer supporting the Jericho Smart Sensing Laboratory (JSSL). https://sydney.edu.au/news-opinion/news/2019/05/01/air-force-engages-sydney-nano-to-revolutionise-sensing-capabilit.html

CSC Award Winner Dr Yang Liu

Congratulations to outstanding researcher Dr Yang Liu for winning a prestigious award from the Chinese Scholarship Souncil for being an outstanding PhD student.

CLEO Pacific Rim 2020 Sydney, Australia

14th Pacific Rim Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics (CLEO Pacific Rim, CLEO-PR 2020) will be held at the International Convention Centre, Sydney, Australia from 2 to 6 August 2020. www.cleopr2020.org

Hosting Professor Kai Bongs

It was a pleasure to host Professor Kai Bongs from the University of Birmingham to discuss quantum sensing.

All-Optical Processing

Check out the Roadmap on All-optical processing published in the Journal of Optics, includes a chapter on “Chip-based photon quantum state sources ..” from former PhD student Xiang Zhang and @ProfBenEggleton  https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/2040-8986/ab0e66

Frontiers in Sensing Forum

Excited to be at free @NSW Smart Sensing frontiers in Sensing Forum with a fantastic crowd from across the sector with NSW Chief Scientist and Engineer, Prof Hugh Durrant-Whyte and NSSN Chair Prof Susan Pond. www.nssn.org.au

Prof Eggleton Introducing 2018 Nobel Prize Winner #CLEO2019

Prof Eggleton introduces the CLEO plenary speaker: Prof Donna Strickland (2018 Nobel Prize winner).

#CLEO2019 introduces Nobel Prize Winners

A great honour to serve as General Chair for #CLEO2019 in San Jose with Prof Irina Novikava and thrilled to introduce Nobel prize winners Dr Gerard Mourou and Dr Donna Strickland.

Dr Merklein wins the Cornforth Medal

Congratulations to Dr Moritz Merklein winning the Rita and John Cornforth Medal for outstanding achievement in research.