This program is focused on finding new ways to use integrated photonics to improve the speed and efficiency of various electronics systems, such as those in automobiles, laptops, and smartphones. The research is expected to enable new computing processing and sensing technologies.
Grant Title: “Integrated Photonics Manufacturing Education Factory/Practice Facility”
Principal Investigator: Douglas Petkie, Professor and Head, Department of Physics
Funding Amount: $4,050,000 for One Year
Award Date: January 30, 2018
Sponsor: Massachusetts Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development
Most of the funding from the grant will go to developing an AIM Photonics Academy Lab for Education and Application Prototypes (LEAP). The facility, which will be located at 50 Prescott Street (Gateway Park II) in Worcester, will have shared instrumentation and be the central location for the research program, which will focus on the design, characterization, and testing of photonic integrated circuits (PICs) for communications, chemical/bio sensing, LIDAR, and microwave analog applications. In coordination with PracticePoint, the conceptual phase of the facility layout has been completed and the build-out phase is expected to begin shortly. The plan is for the facility to be completed in the 2018-19 academic year with six faculty laboratories to complement the core equipment facility. The program is designed to not only facilitate new integrated photonics research but also engage companies in synergistic research and workforce development efforts and provide tools to leverage the national investment in the AIM Photonics fabrication facilities, part of Manufacturing USA. Both IQP and MQP teams, as well as graduate students, will participate. This is a collaborative effort with Quinsigamond Community College and other partners in the AIM Photonics ecosystem.