Broadband On-Chip Spectroscopy enabled by Colloidal Quantum Dots (3S015719)
Just as integrated electronics revolutionized our day-to-day life, silicon photonics has the same potential to provide society with novel, potentially life-changing devices. One of such applications is that of lab-on-a-chip or continuous health monitoring where a miniature device, implanted or not, maps out the presence of biomolecules with high accuracy and low cost. To build such extremely useful devices, we need to be able to to optical spectroscopy on silicon photonics chips, i.e. we need miniature spectrometers with high resolution, fast acquisition and low fabrication cost. Optical frequency combs (OFC) offer just that and have revolutionized the way scientists conceive spectroscopy. However, to realize OFCs on-chip several challenges remain which are related to the spectral bandwidth and the fabrication cost. We propose to use colloidal quantum dots (QDs), nanometer sized pieces of semiconductor crystal, to remedy the remaining issues and push miniature OFCs to the market. In order to realize this ambitious goal, we will use the expertise of both the Photonics Research group (Fac. of Engineering) and the Physics and Chemistry of Nanostructures group (Fac. of Sciences) at Ghent University which have shown through earlier collaborations that QDs can indeed dramatically improve the functionality of silicon photonic circuitry.