Dries Van Thourhout - NARIoS

Description of the PI

driesvanthourhout.jpgDries received the degree in physical engineering and the Ph.D. degree from Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium in 1995 and 2000 respectively.

From Oct. 2000 to Sep. 2002 he was with Lucent Technologies, Bell Laboratories, New Jersey, USA, working on the design, processing and characterization of InP/InGaAsP monolithically integrated devices. In Oct. 2002 he joined the Department of Information Technology (INTEC), Ghent University, Belgium. Currently he is member of the permanent staff of the photonics group. Since 2008 he has a position as full-time professor. He is coordinating the cleanroom activities of the research group and coordinator of the NAMIFAB centre of expertise.

His research focuses on the design, fabrication and characterization of integrated photonic devices. Main topics involve Silicon nanophotonic devices and the integration of novel materials (III-V, graphene, ferro-electrics, quantum dots, ...) on these waveguides to expand their functionality. He is working on applications for telecom, diatom, optical interconnect and sensing.

He has submitted 14 patents, has authored and coauthored over 220 journal papers (see below) and has presented invited papers at all major conferences in the domain. He is member of IEEE Photonics Society, OSA and SPIE. He has coordinated several European Projects (FP6 PICMOS, FP7 WADIMOS, FP7 SMARTFIBER), contributed in many more and received both a starting ERC Grant (ULPPIC) and an advanced ERC grant (NARIOS). He received the prestigious "Laureaat van de Vlaamse Academie Van Belgie" prize in 2012 and was a Clarivate highly cited researcher.

Description of the project

narios.pngAlthough Silicon Photonics, i.e. using mature technologies from the CMOS-industry for realizing complex photonic ICs, progressed enormously, with industrial uptake by the biggest electronics manufactures, its real breakthrough, in e.g. large volume consumer applications or very short interconnects, is hampered by its lack of a true waferscale optical source. Combining aspect-ratio trapping, to suppress defects, and nano-ridge engineering, to shape the resulting material, we have developed a powerful platform to integrate direct bandgap III-V semiconductors on standard silicon wafers, using truly waferscale processes. The exceptionally high quality of this material was confirmed through morphological studies, gain and lifetime measurements and the demonstration of lasing under optical pumping. For practical applications, electrical injection is key though, which thus far has been elusive as the dimensions of the resulting GaAs/InGaAs nano-ridges are too small to directly apply electrical contacts without introducing unacceptable losses. Therefore, NARIoS’ primary objective is to propose device concepts that overcome the trade-off between optical confinement and efficient current injection. We aim at the demonstration of electrically injected microcavity lasers for low-power applications and the demonstration of a novel class of mW-lasers with in-plane or out-of-plane emission, exploiting the possibility to grow highly uniform arrays of these nano-ridges. Next, we aim to demonstrate single photon emission from long-wavelength InAs-quantum dots grown on the nano-ridge platform, eventually integrated in a suitable microcavity. These device-oriented objectives will be complemented by two transversal objectives: development and extensive characterisation of InGaAs nano-ridges for extending the lasing wavelength and exploiting novel concepts from recent literature to design lasers resilient to optical feedback and/or exhibiting lasing in a single coherent spatial mode.