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.
AEOLUS: An Affordable, miniaturisEd, clOud-connected system powered by deep Learning algorithms for comprehensive air qUality measurements based on highly integrated mid-IR photonic
The project AEOLUS targets the realization of an advanced sensing system for air-quality monitoring based on cloud-connected, miniaturized multi-gas sensors able to detect 10 to 15 gases. The sensing system will be powered by deep-learning algorithms and provide many functionalities for end-users, such as real-time alerts, notifications, and the possibility of taking automatic actions. In this project, AMO will be responsible for the design and fabrication of the building blocks of the photonic sensing system.
Start date: 01.01.2021
End date: 31.12.2023
Coordinator: Institute of Communication and Computer Systems (GR)
AEOLUS is funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme, under grant agreement Nr. 101017186.
AI-NET-PROTECT: Providing Resilient & secure networks [Operating on Trusted Equipment] to CriTical infrastructures
Digital transformation is ongoing in many areas of today’s society, which will impact many aspects of people’s lives via means such as smart cities, robotics, transportation, and next-generation industries. At the same time, the current centralized cloud infrastructure is not adequate to serve the transformation’s requirements. We believe that three technologies can come together to shape a new secure service and application platform: 5G, edge-centric compute, and artificial intelligence. In this context, European industry has a good position in 5G networks, transportation and industrial applications, but needs to strengthen the position in secure cloud, data centre and artificial intelligence technologies to be at the forefront of development.The primary focus of the AI-NET-PROTECT sub-project is to provide automated resilience and secure networks operated on trusted equipment to critical infrastructures and enterprises. AI-NET-PROTECT will ensure the protection of critical data, network performance (like latency, throughput, availability), and infrastructure (against tampering and attacks). To achieve these objectives, the project will develop a scalable network and node architecture to address the diverse KPIs by a mix of open and purpose build hardware and software including whiteboxes. Network telemetry and intent-based software-defined network management and control will provide zero-touch provisioning and support artificial intelligence based automation of end-to-end services. Strong security based on multi-layer cryptography, agile crypt-functions, and quantum-safe algorithms will form an integral part for the developed architecture. The key use cases for AI are performance optimization, proactive fault and anomaly detection, penetration and vulnerability testing, and security incident management.
Start date: 01.06.2021
End date: 31.12.2021
AI-NET-PROTECT is a Celtic-Next project. Project ID: C2019/3-4
ATIQ -Quantum Computers with Stored Ions for Applications
ATIQ is a major initiative funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) with the goal of developing a first generation of reliable, user-friendly and 24/7 available quantum-computer demonstrators based on ion trap technology.
AMO brings into the project its expertise in developing advanced photonic chips with novel specifications. In particular, AMO will be responsible of realizing the photonic part of a chip that will allow controlling trapped ions in a more simple and reliable way than what is done today in the laboratory.
The project “ATIQ is part of the BMBF funding measure “Quantum Computer Demonstration Setups”.
Start date: 01.12.2021
End date: 30.11.2026
Project coordinator: Leibniz Universität Hannover.
Project partners: Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, University of Siegen, TU Braunschweig, RWTH Aachen University, Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB), Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, AMO GmbH, AKKA Industry Consulting GmbH, Black Semiconductor GmbH, eleQtron GmbH, FiberBridge Photonics GmbH, Infineon Technologies AG, JoS QUANTUM GmbH, LPKF Laser & Electronics AG, Parity Quantum Computing Germany GmbH, QUARTIQ GmbH, Qubig GmbH and TOPTICA Photonics AG
Associated partners:AQT Germany GmbH, Boehringer Ingelheim, Covestro AG, DLR-SI, Volkswagen AG and QUDORA Technologies GmbH
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.
This project is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), under grant agreement Nr. 13N14971.
FOXES: Fully Oxide-based Zero-Emission and Portable Energy Supply
In recent years, the Internet of Things (IoT) has enabled the communication and interaction between different devices. Such devices play a big role in the development and manufacturing processes for vehicles and machines; therefore, they need to be small, lightweight and wireless. The EU-funded FOXES project will develop a clean, compact, low-cost and scalable high-energy density solution for powering IoT devices such as wireless sensor nodes. More specifically, the proposed system will combine a high-efficiency solar cell with a multilayer capacitor and an energy management circuit, minimising the use of harmful materials and improving recyclability and end-of-life disposability.
More information about the project on www.foxes-project.eu
FOXES is funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme, under grant agreement Nr. 951774.
GRACED: Ultra-compact, low-cost plasmo-photonic bimodal multiplexing sensor platforms as part of a holistic solution for food quality monitoring
In the project GRACED, AMO is partner of a large consortium of 14 very diverse partners – from academic institutions to food producers – that aims at developing a compact and low-cost solution for food-quality monitoring based on plasmo-photonic sensors. The goal is to realize a modular system that will allow to quickly detect contaminants in all stages of the fruits-and-vegetables industry value chain – from producer to consumer. AMO plays a central role into the project, leading the technical development of the plasmo-photonic sensor itself.
Start date: 01.01.2021
End date: 30.06.2024
Coordinator: Cy.R.I.C Cyprus Research and Innovation Center Ltd
GRACED is funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme, under grant agreement Nr. 101007448.
GREAT: Grating Reflectors Enabled laser Applications and Training
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 several laser systems. GWS results from the combination of sub-wavelength gratings and planar waveguides. This combination results, by means of an appropriate design of the overall GWS, in resonances which can be used for many applications that are more efficient than current grating-only devices. The young will be trained to work collaboratively to deliver systems and solutions responding to realworld problems. This is crucial since there is an overall lack of qualified specialized personnel in this field, with a limited number of companies active worldwide. Crucially, this lack of skilled workforce has been identified by the ETP Photonics21 (Photonics21 (2013) Towards 2020 – Photonics driving economic growth in Europe-Multiannual Strategic Roadmap 2014 –2020) as a major challenge for the photonics community. Moreover, GREAT gathers Photonics, Micro-Nano technologies, Advanced materials as well as Nanotechnologies which are among the Key technologies defined within the H2020 project for the competitiveness and renewal of European manufacturing. Lasers are also defined as an important industrial sector, where the European Community is a key player which aims to keep its competitive position. Therefore, GREAT will provide important modelling methods and fabrication tools that allow the development of GWS to consolidate and expand their use in several applications in the laser field like pulse compression, spectral stabilization and wavelength multiplexing, as well as polarization shaping (generation of beams with radial and azimuthal polarization).
Start date: 01.03.2019
End date: 28.02.2023
Coordinator: University of Stuttgart
GREAT is funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme, under grant agreement Nr.813159.
HIPER-LASE: Towards Hetero-Integration of Perovskite Lasers into Silicon Photonics
Integrated photonic-circuits could trigger the next technological revolution in microelectronics. The prerequisite, however, is the availability of a cost-effective and scalable manufacturing technology. An excellent candidate for this task is the photonics platform based on silicon/silicon-nitride. What is still missing though, is an integrable laser source. In the DFG-funded project HIPER-LASE, AMO and partners RWTH Aachen University, the University of Wuppertal and the University of Siegen will explore the potential of perovskite semiconductors for realizing an on-chip electrically pumped laser.
HIPER-LASE is a project funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) – Project number 441341044.
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.
MOCCA is funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme, under grant agreement Nr. 814147
More information on https://mocca.astonphotonics.uk/
NeuroSys – Project B: Photonic neuromorphic circuits
Optical transmission systems not only enable extremely high data rates, but also the significant reduction of latency times during signal transmission. In this project, optical neural networks are realised in hybrid implementation, in which the signal processing is implemented partly optically and partly electronically, with practice-relevant network concepts with up to 10 layers, 1000 neurons per layer and 100 connections per neuron. The system is realised in a silicon photonic chiplet, which is combined with ultrahigh-frequency electronics through flip-chip integration. The photonic layer is monolithically integrated in the “Back-End of Line” (BEOL) with 350 nm electronics. In order to implement the configurability of the optics in an energy-efficient way, optical devices with remanent configuration are developed using novel optical materials (e.g. graphene and chalcogenides).
This project is part of the Cluster for Future “NeuroSys – Neuromorphic Hardware for Autonomous Artificial Intelligence Systems”, a major initiative funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research to contribute to the technological independence of Germany and Europe in the field of artificial intelligence.
Start date: 01.01.2022
End date: 31.12.2024
NeuroSys – Project B is funded by the Federal Ministry for Education and Research, under grant agreement Nr. 03ZU1106BB.
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.
This project is funded by the European Union and the State of North Rhine-Westphalia, under grant agreement EFRE-0801508.
PERSEPHONe: PERovskite SEmiconductors for PHOtoNics
PERSEPHONe is an international training network funded by the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Programme.It has the double aim of developing the technological basis of a novel photonic platform based on metal-halide perovskite semiconductors and, simultaneously, of training a new generation of researchers with top-notch skills in the field.
Within the project, AMO explores the potential of the perovskites synthetized by the project partners to work as active materials for integrated lasers and amplifiers.
Start date: 01.03.2021
End date: 28.02.2025
Project website: https://persephoneitn.eu/
Coordinator: Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia, Italy
PERSEPHONe is a project funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement n° 956270.
AMO is partner of PlasmoniAC, an EU-funded project that aims at realizing a radically new circuit-technology for neuromorphic computing based on plasmons.
PlasmoniAC responds to the pressing industrial needs for high-speed neuromorphic chips that are at the same time low-cost,energy-efficient and compact. Bringing together the expertise 10 partners from 7 countries, the project offers a unique chance for strengthening the competitiveness of European photonics industry and for putting European companies in world-leading position in the global neuromorphic and Deep Learning market.
PlasmoniAC is funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme, under grant agreement Nr. 871391.
More information on www.plasmoniac.eu
POLLOC: Polariton Logic
An all-optical photonic approach will boost computational energy efficiency
In 1965, Gordon Moore predicted that the number of transistors on a chip would double every year to reach 65 000 by 1975. When that remarkable prediction proved true, he revised the doubling rate to every two years, and that became known as Moore’s Law. Almost 50 years after Moore’s seminal prediction, traditional chip architectures are reaching their technological, practical and economical limits. The EU-funded POLLOC project is exploiting an all-optical approach that takes us beyond current transistor technology. By replacing electrons with photons, optical transistors and all-optical logic gates are envisaged that could bypass the fundamental limitations of the current electronic transistors. Moreover these novel devices offer processing at the speed of light to achieve energy-efficient massive processing required for tomorrow’s high-efficiency and high-power computing platforms.
POLLOC is funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme, under grant agreement Nr. 899141.
More information in the project website: http://www.polloc.eu/
The EU-funded POSEIDON project will address the critical need for monolithic integration of on-chip light sources ready for mass production. Utilising active colloids that can self-organise into 3D structures, the project aims to develop nanoscale light sources of variable length that can be monolithically integrated into the back-end of PICs. Project activities will encompass the entire process chain from computer-aided design to controlled synthesis, hierarchical assembly, optoelectronic integration and device fabrication. Realising this breakthrough platform for generic PICs comprising monolithically integrated active colloidal components could boost Europe’s competitiveness in many sectors.
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.
POSEIDON is funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme, under grant agreement Nr. 861950.
More information on https://poseidon-fet.eu/
Read the project press-release.
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.
SUN-PILOT is funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme, under grant agreement Nr. 760915.
More information on http://www.sunpilot.eu/