RMIT University

Microelectronics and Materials Technology Centre and the MicroNano Research Facility

In 2011, Professor Arnan Mitchell's research expertise was recognised in his appointment as the RMIT Node Director of the Centre for Ultrahigh bandwidth Devices for Optical Systems (CUDOS).

"The Centre brings together a potent team of researchers in optical science and photonics technology dedicated to developing science and engineering to transform photonic integrated circuits into a practical, powerful technology.

The technology employs optical signal processing to enable critical applications spanning communications, sensing and security," he says.

"We live in an information-rich world. The technology that makes this possible is the high speed internet and what makes the internet possible is photonics – light in optical fibres and lasers. This remarkable technology allows us to transmit and process vast amounts of information whilst consuming far less power.

In addition, photonics can interrogate molecular structures and provide information critical to human health and environmental sustainability; quantum properties of photons also promise new information systems with impenetrable security."

Continuing to focus on end users, the CUDOS RMIT node has successfully created a suite of silicon photonic design tools now licensed to Luceda Photonics, the company providing an industry standard framework for silicon photonic chip design across the globe.

Silicon photonics allows the economical production of optical devices using standard semiconductor fabrication techniques, integrated with microelectronic chips. Professor Mitchell’s team are contributing to this emerging billion dollar industry through their invention and development of new silicon photonic resonator technology designed to integrate silicon photonic transmit/receive modules, which are critically important for high speed, low-cost information transport within data centres.

Waveguide resonators are among the most crucial building blocks for silicon photonic systems and Professor Mitchell is involved in a project to introduce an entirely new class of optical waveguide resonators based on recently discovered unusual coupling behaviour in silicon photonics. The research indicates that these new compact resonant structures will offer unprecedented filtering functionality while remaining compatible with silicon photonic mass manufacture, ensuring they can be easily utilised by the broader community.

Professor Mitchell believes that being based at RMIT has enabled his research team to quickly reach their level of international expertise.

"RMIT has invested in significant infrastructure such as the Microelectronics and Materials Technology Centre and the MicroNano Research Facility, which feature all the tools required to design, fabricate, test, package and validate photonic chips and microfluidic biodevices.

RMIT has a unique and exciting emerging research culture with its broad diversity of students and collaborators creating an extremely engaging dynamic."

Source: RMIT University

Laboratory of Artificial Intelligence Nanophotonics (LAIN)

Since 2003, Professor Min Gu has been a Node Director of the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Ultrahigh-bandwidth Devices for Optical Systems.

Professor Min Gu's research group is shaping research innovation facilitating incubation and acceleration of his research in the 2017 established world-class Laboratory of Artificial Intelligence Nanophotonics (LAIN).

The laboratory is being equipped with world-class laser facilities and aims to become the world-first photonics group in artificial intelligence-driven optical devices at nanoscale.

It will allow researchers to investigate artificial neural networks at the same length scale as those in nature.

It opens the way to develop the science and technology involved in the 3D nano-printing of artificial ‘minds’, which will impact significantly on mental health and care.