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UBCx: Silicon Photonics Design, Fabrication and Data Analysis

4.6 stars
5 ratings

Design your own silicon photonics chip. The first online course to include photonics fabrication, experimentation, and data analysis.

6 weeks
3–25 hours per week
Instructor-led on a course schedule
Cost to Enroll
$495 USD

Choose your session:

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Started Jan 9
Ends Apr 14
Starts Apr 16
Ends Jul 9
Starts Sep 10
Ends Dec 3

About this course

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This short course teaches students and industry professionals how to design integrated optical devices and circuits, using a hands-on approach with commercial tools. We will fabricate your designs using a state-of-the-art ($5M) silicon photonic rapid-prototyping 100 keV electron-beam lithography facility. We will measure your designs using an automated optical probe station and provide you the data. You will then analyze your experimental data.

Why take this course?

  • To get hands on design experience with integrated optics
  • To learn how to use advanced optical design tools
  • To get your design fabricated, and obtain experimental data

The focus of this course is a design project, guided by lectures, tutorials and activities. As a first-time designer, you will design an interferometer, which is a widely used device in many applications such as communications (modulation, switching) and sensing. Specifically, it is Mach-Zehnder Interferometer, consisting of fibre grating couplers, two splitters, and optical waveguides. For advanced designers, this course is an opportunity to design many other devices, such as directional couplers, ring, racetrack and disk resonators, Bragg gratings including grating assisted contra-directional couplers, photonic crystals, multi-mode interference (MMI) couplers, polarization diversity components, mode-division multiplexing (MDM) components and circuits, novel waveguides such as sub-wavelength grating (SWG) and metamaterial waveguides, slot waveguides, etc.

This course includes commercial software tool licenses (Lumerical Solutions, MATLAB, Luceda and Tidy3D) and uses open-source tools (KLayout, SiEPIC-Tools, gdsfactory and Python).

You will earn a professional certificate from the University of British Columbia and edX upon successful completion of this course. Certificates can be uploaded directly to your LinkedIn profile.

At a glance

  • Institution: UBCx
  • Subject: Engineering
  • Level: Intermediate
  • Prerequisites:

    Introductory physics and optics, for example an undergraduate optics or electromagnetics course. No background with integrated optics is assumed. Background in microwave/RF would be an asset. The course uses various computer software programs, and a background in basic programming is beneficial (e.g., MATLAB, Python). Phot1x is targeted at an audience with a wide range of backgrounds.

  • Language: English
  • Video Transcript: English
  • Associated skills:Cathode Ray (Electromagnetism), Data Analysis, Electromagnetic Waveguides, Optical Devices, Photonics, Mobile Device Management, Optical Waveguides, Rapid Prototyping, Polarization, Metamaterials, MATLAB, Photonic Crystal, Multiplexing, Optics, Modulation, Mechanical Probe Station

What you'll learn

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  • Optical modelling tools
  • Mask layout tools
  • Design of optical devices and circuits
  • Data analysis techniques

Frequently Asked Questions

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How much effort is required?

Since this is a design-based course, students in previous courses have put in between 3-25 hours/week, depending on their background, interest, and the level of complexity of their chosen project. There are also many optional modules in the course, completing all the optional modules increases the time required.

What are the prerequisites for taking this course?

Phot1x is targeted at an audience with a wide range of backgrounds who are committed to learning the material and completing the course design project. The prerequisites are introductory physics, and optics, for example an undergraduate optics or electromagnetics course. Background in microwave/RF would be an asset. No background with integrated optics is assumed. The course uses various computer software, hence a background in basic computer programming is beneficial (e.g., MATLAB, Python).

Do I need to buy a textbook?

Purchasing the textbook is optional. Included in the course are several key chapters from the book "Silicon Photonics Design", by Lukas Chrostoski and Michael Hochberg, published by Cambridge University Press. The full version (ebook or hardcopy) is available for purchase. Furthermore, the notes, videos and exercises are all sufficient to complete this course.

What are the fabrication details?

Your devices will be fabricated on a Silicon on insulator (SOI) wafer with 220 nm silicon thickness, with a minimum isolated feature size of 60 nm. Each participant is allocated 410 µm x 605 µm of space, enough for >10 devices each (more available on request). One chip is being manufactured and measured for this course, and the measurement data will be provided to the course participants.

Who will be doing the fabrication and measurements?

The fabrication will be performed by the University of Washington Nanofabrication Facility and Applied Nanotools Inc. Measurements will be performed at The University of British Columbia.

Will I be getting a physical chip in the mail?

No. Only one chip is being manufactured for this course, measurements will be performed at UBC; measurement data will be provided to course participants. Participants can separately purchase their own chip either during or after the course.

Who can take this course?

Unfortunately, learners residing in one or more of the following countries or regions will not be able to register for this course: Iran, Cuba and the Crimea region of Ukraine. While edX has sought licenses from the U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) to offer our courses to learners in these countries and regions, the licenses we have received are not broad enough to allow us to offer this course in all locations. edX truly regrets that U.S. sanctions prevent us from offering all of our courses to everyone, no matter where they live.

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