The Department of Photonics Engineering at DTU is growing rapidly – in terms of employees, external funding, number of publications and citations, number of students on all levels (Bachelor, Master and PhD) and innovation activities such as patent filings and industrial collaborations and lately also activities within public sector consultancy. This growth is fuelled by the high quality research carried out at the department.
A holistic view
The research strategy consists of a holistic view encompassing both fundamental research areas and very application oriented areas in collaboration with companies. It may surprise you to learn how central a part in daily life Photonics Engineering plays: the internet, Blue-Rayplayers, mobile phones, HD-TV’s are just a few of the areas in which Photonics play an indispensable part.
Nanophotonic research activities enter into the development of e.g. quantum computers, cryptography, high-efficiency LED’s, on-chip optical processing, etc. The fundamental knowledge of the interaction between light and matter, carrier dynamics, etc. is crucial for the development of the next generation of semiconductor devices. However, it should be noted, that some of the activities are of more immediate use, such as new light sources and OCT systems.
The development of metamaterials is another activity with a longer time horizon before actual applications emerge. But both our theoretical activities as well as the fabrication activities are integral parts of our department's research strategy.
Our optical communication area has on several occasions demonstrated record breaking results, and the Communication Technology Cluster encompasses all the relevant technical competences to support all areas of the future communications systems. The department strategy within communication technology is to further strangthen the holistic view and establish a "Future Internet Lab" where all the communication research can be focused. This will both create a strong research entity and be able to attract students and industry to various projects.
The department's expertise within fiber optics and fiber-based light sources is widely recognized. The activities on new light sources for both sensor applications and various spectroscopic investigations have gained further momentum over the last couple of years. The establishment of our own drawing tower for polymer-optical fibers (and soft-glass fibers) has opened up new research and application areas. The strong theoretical know-how in combination with unique fabrication opportunities is a way to further develop and strengthen our position within this area.
Several groups at the department have a long history of close collaboration with industry. This is an activity we intend to continue and even further intensify. It is e.g. our intension to establish a Center for LED Innovation, where companies can test and measure new commercial products in collaboration with our researchers. This way, valuable information is also gained regarding the market potential for our more application oriented research. We see the close interplay with companies as valuable input for our research strategy.
New and growing area
The biophotonics area is becoming more and more important for our activities, and both the development of new light sources and optical manipulation techniques are expected to attract new funding not only from research funds but also from commercial activities.