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.