The Laser Physics & Nonlinear Optics (LPNO) group is offering a 4-year research position for a PhD student. The research project, named “Smart Spectrometers”, investigates low-loss waveguide circuits to be explored as novel spectrometric devices that derive their working from a tight integration of photonics and electronics in the form of smart and adaptive control. We investigate networks of parallel and sequential low-loss waveguide micro ring resonators and coupled waveguide arrays with possibly large complexity. The waveguide circuits are to be designed and fabricated using Si3N4/SiO2 (TripleX) technology available from one of our industrial partners. The circuits are widely reconfigurable via a multitude of independently controllable electronic input signals. The overall challenge of this project is to integrate hardware (layout of optical circuitry with multiple control elements and detectors) with electronic data interpretation and feedback control (smart control) for obtaining ultra-high performance devices. Additional challenges can be complementing the current thermal actuation with additional piezo or electro-optic control, incorporating novel optical readout technology, or including optical amplification. The project offers room for collaborative, explorative work with other optical groups within our established Applied Nanophotonics (ANP) division of the MESA+ Institute for Nanotechnology. Possible directions can be, e.g., quantum optics, nonlinear-optics, laser physics or the investigation of random waveguide circuits.

The candidate will carry out the modeling of wave propagation and circuit properties, and investigate experimentally the optical properties and functionalities of the circuits. The candidate will be leading and coordinating the design, packaging and testing of waveguide circuits in collaboration with the industrial partners of the project. In collaboration with systems control researchers from the TU Delft, the candidate will adopt or develop smart readout and control strategies, specifically, for using waveguide circuits as spectrometers. The actual fabrication of waveguide circuits is carried out by our industrial partner (Lionix BV, on campus), who use the facilities of the MESA+ Nanolab at the University of Twente.


The Laser Physic & Nonlinear Optics group aims at research at the highest international level. The project, being part of a larger national research program (Memphis) funded by the Dutch Technology Foundation (STW), facilitates collaboration with partners throughout the Netherlands. The project will build upon several other research projects in the LPNO group that uses similar waveguides. The PhD student is embedded in an enthusiastic and high-level academic environment with world-class fabrication and experimental capabilities. The research group is part of the Applied Nanophotonics (ANP) division of the MESA+ Institute for Nanotechnology. The candidate will also become a member of the Twente Graduate School (TGS) for Advanced Optics, which means a strong interaction with about 50 PhD students, all being involved in photonics research projects of very diverse kinds.

What we expect

We are looking for an excellent student with a degree preferably in physics, applied physics, optics, optical engineering, integrated optics or similar. The candidate should be an enthusiastic person with well-developed communication skills, especially in written and spoken English. He or she must be open-minded and be capable of working independently as well as in a team.

Information and application

Please contact Prof. Klaus Boller (+31-53-489-3965) for more information. Applications need to include a one-page motivation letter, a detailed CV (resume), a publication list, the contact details of at least 2 referees, and a list of B.Sc. and M.Sc. grades. Please name your TOEFL or IELTS score if available. Please send your application to our office at using the keyword “Smart Spectrometers” in the subject line.

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