Nanophotonics merges nanotechnology methods with photonics and thus enables light transmission, manipulation and detection on a nanometer scale. For over one decade AMO GmbH is active in the field of silicon photonics by employing state-of-the-art clean room technologies to develop active and passive integrated nanophotonics structures and devices. Moreover, high-speed integrated modulators for modern optical communication technologies were designed and fabricated and efficient fiber-chip coupling methods were established. Silicon photonics is supposed to be a suitable technology platform overcoming the current limits of optical interconnects in terms of size, power efficiency and speed. A second nanophotonic platform using silicon nitride as waveguide material has been recently developed opening the route to enter the visible wavelength range. Main fields of applications of AMO’s nanophotonics besides information technologies are bio photonics, life sciences, sensing, photonics for antenna technologies and integrated silicon based components for terahertz generation.

Nanophotonic prototyping foundry service

AMO has already launched a nanophotonic prototyping foundry service based on various lithography techniques on 6’’ wafers including i-line projection lithography, electron beam lithography and advanced nanoimprint lithography. Currently active and passive integrated silicon nanophotonic devices like grating couplers, SOI electro-optical modulators, photonic crystals and microring resonators, etc. are commercially available.

A summary of details can be found in the corresponding FactSheet “Nanophotonics” in the sidebar on the right-hand side.

Below you find our running projects within Nanophotonics.


AMO’s goal in ElecTRIC (Elektrisch durchstimmbarer breitbandiger Laser mit integriertem Wellenlängen-Monitor zur Kalibrierung) is the research and development of a nanophotonic chip working as an integrated wavelength monitor for an electrically tunable laser.




AMO’s goal in FaserChip (Entwicklung, Validierung und Erprobung eines Montage- und Justagesystems für die Kopplung zwischen Glasfasern und nano-photonischen Chips mit Gitterkopplern unter Einsatz eines 3D präzisionsbearbeiteten Glasblocks) is the development of a planarisation process via Nanoimprint for a novel glass mounting block to couple optical fibers to nanophotonic chips.




The overall aim of the GREAT (Grating Reflectors Enabled laser Applications and Training) project is to train a cohort of 15 ESRs through the completion of interconnected individual projects which will deliver innovative approaches for development and use of Grating Waveguide Structures (GWS), from design to implementation in laser systems.

AMO’s ESR project will be focused on 1) Development and optimization of master/mold fabrication processes using LIL and reactive ion etching; 2) Development
and optimization of suitable NIL processes for pattern transfer onto the target substrates; 3) Development and optimization of processes
for pattern transfer into the target substrate by means of reactive ion etching. 4) Development of suitable metrology techniques for both
efficient process optimization and quality control for fabricated devices.


AMO’s goal in MOCCA (Multiscale optical frequency combs: advanced technologies and applications) is the fabrication of advanced resonators for frequency comb generation on our silicon and silicon nitride nanophotonic platforms.




AMO’s goal in NANOPOL (Polarisationsempfindlicher Wellenfrontsensor auf Basis von „Nano-Gittern“ zur Charakterisierung thermischer Aberrationen in Hochleistungs-Laseroptiken) is the research and development of a pixelized polarizer chip, which is mounted on a CCD camera and contains four different polarization orientations for advanced laser beam diagnostics.



AMO’s goal in PerovsKET (Verbesserung der Mikrostruktur von Perowskiten mittels thermischem Nanoimprint als Schlüsseltechnologie für großflächige Perowskit-Optoelektronik) is the enhancement of perovskite quality for opto-electronic applications via a novel nanoimprint process based on TensoStamps patented by the project partner NBTechnologies.



PHASE‐CHANGE SWITCH (Phase change Materials and Switches for Enabling Beyond-CMOS Energy Efficient Applications) exploits the abrupt Metal‐Insulator‐Transition (MIT) that happens in certain materials (as for Vanadium dioxide, VO2) at temperatures that make them interesting for electronic circuits and systems by their performance, energy efficiency and scalability. The project combines energy efficiency and extended functionality with the engineering of new classes of solid‐state Beyond CMOS switches.

PHASE‐CHANGE SWITCH covers the entire value chain, from novel phase‐change materials (alloying and straining techniques are used for the engineering of the transition temperature in the material), to new device and circuit architectures together with their scaling and integration on silicon CMOS compatible and GaN platforms.

Smart designs and exploitation of unique properties of the phase change VO2 beyond CMOS switches are targeted within the same technology platform including: (i) von‐ Neumann steep‐slope logic devices and circuits, to extend CMOS with novel functionality and energy efficiency, (ii) uniquely reconfigurable energy efficient radio‐frequency (RF) circuit functions from 1 to 100 GHz, (iii) unconventional scalable neuristors exploiting the hysteretic RC switching behaviour for neuromorphic computation, and, (iv) disruptive classes of solid‐state devices for neuromorphic computation, exploiting non‐volatile memory effects.

Within the consortium AMO provides material screening and develops dedicated test structures to study the optical properties of the VO2 phase transition in order to enhance the overall understandin of this material class and enable more accurate modelling and simulations. Furthermore, AMO supports device fabrication by the consortium by using its nanofabrication expertise to create nanoscale VO2 devices.


AMO’s goal in POSEIDON (NanoPhOtonic devices applying SElf-assembled colloIDs for novel ON-chip light sources) is research and development of integrated nanophotonic circuits tailored for the integration of novel colloidal light sources by the partners.



AMO’s goal in RETINA (Miniaturised Photonics Enabled Next Generation SAR) is the research and development of an integrated nanophotonic chip for building synthetic aperture radars in satellites. The chip must therefore feature ultra-low losses and is build upon our silicon nitride platform.


The objective of SUN-PILOT (Piloting of Innovative Subwavelength Nanostructure Technology for Optical and Injection Moulding Applications) is to develop a novel and cost-effective platform for up-scaling the fabrication of sub-wavelength nanostructures across large and non-planar surfaces. This will be achieved using state-of-the-art block copolymer (BCP) chemistry and highly scaleable etching and injection moulding methods. Specific objectives include the demonstration of a clean and sustainable nano-patterning technology capable of reducing the maintenance and capital investment costs for optical component users whilst enhancing the lifetime of anti-reflection parts as well as the fabrication of nano structured surfaces with enhanced functionalities such as hydrophobicity and oelophobicity for automobiles.

In SUN-PILOT AMO is respobsible for the etching pilot line, transfering the BCP patterns into optical substrates or master templates for injection molding. In additon, AMO uses its nanoimprint lithography (NIL) technology to test novel nanofabrication materials developed by the consortium.