Since September 2012, the State of Berlin has supported the partnership between Berlin and Warsaw in the area of photovoltaics and optoelectronics. The aim of this network called PHOENIX was to promote the development of an economic and cross-border research and development network between Berlin players from science and industry and partner organizations in the Polish capital region in the field of optical technologies.
Photonics research in Poland is mainly represented at the universities (over 70% of the research potential), including the Institute of Technical Universities and the Polish Academy of Sciences (PAN) with its small shares in researching companies and institutes. In Germany the size ratios are exactly the opposite. Warsaw and the Masovian capital region have the largest share in Polish photonics research and the market, which is well over 60%. Another dynamic and active field of photonics in Poland is in Wroclaw and Lower Silesia, where more than 30 project teams are engaged in research and production in the field of photonics. Upper Silesia (Gliwice), Cracow, Poznań, Gdańsk and Lublin also belong to the important center of Photonics in Poland, where both research and development activities, mostly at technical universities, are carried out. The Photonics Society of Poland (PSP) with its Optoelectronics Section is the largest and the most powerful optics/optoelectronics/photonics organization in Poland. It already starts integration and consolidation activities with the Committee of Electronics and Telecommunication/Polish Academy of Sciences and the photonics community. President of the PSP is Prof. Tomasz R. Woliński, Optics and Photonics Division Head, Faculty of Physics, Warsaw Univ. of Technology and also with its Optoelectronics Section.
Due to the continuation of the PHOENIX project potential project partners in Warsaw and Wroclaw are the Institute of Electron Technology (ITE), the Technical University in Warsaw, the Wroclaw Research Center (EIT+) and the Technical University in Wroclaw as well as the Institute of Applied Optics (INOS).
Institute of Electron Technology (ITE)
The Institute of Electron Technology in Warsaw is the leading Polish institute in the fields of micro- and nanoelectronics and photonics.
The mission of the institute is to conduct basic and applied research in the fields of semiconductor electronics and physics in order to develop and commercialize innovative micro- and nanotechnologies and their applications. In 1994, the Institute became an independent unit directly subordinate to the Minister of Economy. ITE employs over 110 research staff, specializing in electronics, physics, chemistry and material engineering. The institute has excellent equipped laboratories with the possibility of pilot or small series production and traineeship. In December 2011, the modernization of the technological laboratory was completed (class 100). It facilitates the fabrication of lasers and photodetectors.
Special focus areas for the upcoming cooperation are:
- IR Detectors with Quantum Cascade Lasers (Gas Analysis, Medical Technologies)
- Integrated Circuit Design and Packaging (Sensors and telecommunications)
For the planned cooperation with Berlin, especially industrial cooperation is important.
The institute provides its expertise and know-how for:
- enterprises to foster their development by offering access to technologies as well as devices and systems
- services can be provided in small scale production mode at the Institute or ordered from specialist suppliers based on projects
- research centres which seek partners to carry out European and national programs
Special offers in microassembling and packaging are:
- Die bonding, wire bonding and hermetization of semiconductor chips
- assembly in metal, ceramic packages, on copper laminate and other custom substrates and packages
- semiconductor wafer dicing: Optical fiber coupling to silicon photodetectors
- a special technology for producing monolithic position detectors with an integrated quantum cascade laser in mid infrared range
Detectors can be used in spectroscopy systems, including in LIDAR systems.
A special technology was developed to produce biocompatible devices which include matrices for microelectrodes integrated with flexible base, including piezoelectric sensors for measuring intraocular pressure, microelectrodes for retinal implants, passive electrodes for cochlear implants and silicon electrodes for auditory nerve implants.
Wrocław Research Centre EIT+
By conducting application research in the areas of nanotechnology, material technology, biotechnology, medicine, as well as energy and climate, the institute is looking for marketable technology solutions. The EIT+ company, by possessing highly qualified personnel and a laboratory area, will be able to carry out laboratory and research services ordered by external entities. Prof. Dr. habil Detlev Hommel, Director of the Semiconductor Nanostructure Department also adds: ”At the end of 2015, the investment phase, mostly with funds from the EU's regional funding, ended, but the entire last year was still largely used to start the laboratories, etc. At around 140,000,000 euros, it is the largest infrastructure investment in the scientific field in Poland”.
The laboratories will offer the possibility of carrying out research services from biotechnology, advanced medical technologies and complex material characterization, including nanomaterials. EIT+ is continuously developing the business area. Especially by conducting application research in the areas of nanotechnology, material technology, biotechnology, medicine, as well as energy and climate, the EIT+ is looking for marketable technology solutions. Laboratories in BSL2 standard, equipped with clean rooms, exist for the research from the scale of nano to greater structures. Especially for the cooperation project the Epitaxy Laboratory and the Laser Micromachining Laboratory are interesting. Molecular beam epitaxy and metal-organic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD) is used for fabrication of epitaxial grown nitride materials for optical, electronic and magnetic applications as well as for basic research up to 4 inch diameter.
“The Photonics & Optoelectronics Network PHOENIX is not only limited to the Berlin-Warsaw axis but is also important for us at the Wroclaw Research Center EIT +, if we are to enter into close cooperation with German partners with our activities on short-wave, nitrid-based optoelectronics. We are already working together with the Ferdinand-Braun-Institut (FBH) in the field of cooperation on the basis of group III nitrides in cooperation with Poland and Berlin-Brandenburg” explains Prof. Hommel.
EIT+ Bild: Epitaxy Laboratory
The Laser Micromechanic Laboratory is equipped with instrumentation suitable for fabrication of both flat and three-dimensional structures. The broad spectrum of available laser sources spanning from UV to IR allows processing various materials including metals, semiconductors, plastics, glass and ceramics. The optical spectroscopy laboratory is also of high interest because it is fully equipped for conducting comprehensive characterizations of luminescent materials. The laboratory is designed to provide measurements of emission and excitation spectra, decay times and determination of quantum yields. The special structure of the laboratory ensures preparation of projects dedicated to the needs of customers, allows supervision over scientific and research works related to optical materials that have a specialized application in various areas.
“The state-of-the-art laboratories, especially in combination, offer excellent opportunities for researchers from other European countries. This international cooperation is to stimulate and expand. The workshop in Berlin, which has now been held, offers very good opportunities for this. The EIT + has set itself the goal of implementing component-oriented R & D activities in cooperation with the Polish industry, in a similar way as the Fraunhofer Institutes in Germany do. However, we are still a very young organization and are only in the initial phase. It is therefore too early to talk about concrete implementation“, said Prof. Hommel on the future development of the EIT +.
Wroclaw University of Science and Technology
Wroclaw University of Science and Technology is an inheritor of the tangible property of the German University Königliche Technische Hochschule Breslau, and also the intellectual and scientific heritage of Lviv Polytechnic. The Wroclaw University of Technology has been operating since 1945. From the very beginning it was an important centre of technical education. Today it is one of the biggest and best technical universities in the country with 34,000 students.
The University supports interdisciplinary research, creating research centres in cooperation with other scientific units it focuses on pro-innovation studies aiming to increase the region's competitiveness. By being a member of clusters and consortia, it enables knowledge transfer through research commissioned by domestic business entities as well as scientific institutes and foreign companies, including CERN, European Space Agency, Microsoft and Siemens. It undertakes innovative initiatives enabled by agreements with domestic and international leaders of diverse market sectors.
The Laser & Fiber Electronics Group, headed by Professor Krzysztof M. Abramski is a part of the Chair of EM Field Theory, Electronic Circuits and Optoelectronics at the Wroclaw University of Technology. From the perspective of Berlin, the work areas of this group are particularly interesting for the upcoming cooperation:
- Fiber lasers & amplifiers
- Graphene mode-locked lasers
- Solid-state microchip lasers
- Laser vibrometry
- Laser micromachining
Scientists in the Laser & Fiber Electronics Group developed the technology to manufacture Quantum Cascade Lasers (QCLs) with three times the power of existing devices. As a result, optical pulses as short as hundreds of femtoseconds (10-15 s) can be generated. Such lasers are on demand of many applications, including telecommunications, medicine, materials processing, precise metrology, microscopy and spectroscopy (LIBS). They attract attention, because they enable the construction of portable detectors of trace amounts of chemicals such as methane in mines or hazardous gases in the chemical industry.
Currently, the Group is carrying out two research projects devoted to graphene. The first one, financed by the Polish National Science Centre (NCN), focuses on nonlinear optical properties of graphene and its usage as saturable absorber in fiber lasers operating at wavelengths ranging from 1 µm to 2 µm. The second project, financed by the National Centre for Research and Development (NCBR) is carried out in collaboration with the Institute of Electronic Materials Technology (Warsaw), one of the world’s leading manufacturer of high-quality graphene. The goal of the project is to develop prototypes of graphene-based ultrafast fiber lasers operating in the IR spectral region, which will be commercialized by an industrial partner.
Institute of Applied Optics (INOS)
The Institute of Applied Optics (INOS) is the photonics, application-oriented research centre in Poland, supplying innovative products and technologies to the industry, science, medicine, army and police. For the purpose of this intention, the project applicants therefore seek to cross-border network the companies and research institutions – active in the field of optical technologies – located in the partner regions. Due to this, innovations in this technology field can be promoted and both regions can be stronger positioned in the international competition.
Polish Technological Platform on Photonics (PPTF)
PPTF is an open membership institution and new members may join it at any time. PPTF members may include organisational units involved in scientific or business activity or government, self-government or non-government organisations related to photonics or declaring operation in favour of development of photonics in Poland. The mission is to increase the innovativeness of the Polish photonic industry by coordinating the actions of Polish businesses, scientific units, government and local authorities and non-governmental organisations related to the development of new technologies and optoelectronic products, improvement of staff qualifications and the extension of the range of applications of photonic technologies in Poland.
The article was written by Dr. Christel Budzinski.
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