3D Matter Made to Order

3D Hybrid Electronic and Photonic Systems (C1)

Thrust C1 will realize novel 3D photonic-electronic systems for communications, sensing and energy conversion.

Photonic integrated circuits and hybrid photonic-electronic assemblies are key to a wide variety of applications, ranging from terabit communications and ultrafast signal processing to high-precision metrology and industrial sensing and further to chemical analysis and medical diagnostics. In Thrust C1, we will explore novel 3D architectures for hybrid photonic and photonic-electronic assemblies that exploit advanced multi-material printing techniques and dedicated resist materials.

In the long term, these architectures may enable powerful and highly scalable systems for information processing and transmission, which have the potential to overcome many of the limitations set by conventional integration approaches. In addition, the tremendous structural and functional freedom of 3D printed nanostructures allows realizing novel optomechanical sensor and actuator elements.

A second avenue of research in C1 are solar energy systems such as solar modules using advanced 3D printing approaches and low-cost nano-replication for enhanced in-coupling for thin film solar cells. Furthermore, the efficiency of solar cells as well as of solar fuel reactors can be enhanced or enabled (in case of solar fuels) by printed spectral conversion units, which convert light from lower to higher photon energies using nonlinear processes.


  1. Description: A three-dimensional optical cavity designed by topology optimization with material properties that are typical for laser-printing resists. (Source: Yannick Augenstein)
  2. Description: Concept of a hybrid external cavity laser (ECL) with intra-cavity photonic wirebond. A photonic wirebond connects the InP RSOA to a down-tapered silicon strip waveguide on the SiP external-cavity circuit including the tunable feedback structure. Two symmetrically coupled Vernier ring resonators in add-drop configuration provide frequency selectivity. (a) Schematic depicting the building blocks of the device. (b) Microscope image of the assembled device with the previously described building blocks indicated. (c) View of the ECL module alongside electrical assembly. (Source: Pascal Maier)
  3. Description: In-situ 3D nanoprinting of free-form coupling elements at individual facets with the highest precision. (Source: Yilin Xu)

Thrust Spokesperson

Uli Lemmer
Prof. Dr. Uli Lemmer
Karlsruhe Institute of Technology
E-Mail: ulrich lemmer∂kit edu


Open Positions

Please also note our dedicated Opportunities page.