2017 cudos

Group photo of CUDOS staff and students at the CUDOS Annual Workshop in February 2017.

CUDOS was funded by the Australian Research Council under the Centres of Excellence program, from 2003-2017, as a research consortium between seven Australian Universities:

The University of Sydney (CUDOS headquarters), Macquarie University, University of Technology Sydney, Australian National University, RMIT University, Monash University and Swinburne University.

The Research Director was Professor Ben Eggleton, with Professor Yuri Kivshar as Deputy Director and Professor Martijn de Sterke as Associate Director.

Since 2003 CUDOS has played a pivotal role in demonstrating ground-breaking integrated photonic signal processors that can massively increase the information capacity of the Internet (covered by ABC Catalyst in 2009). We have clear evidence that single-element photonic processors provide processing speeds (bandwidths) orders of magnitude greater than those of electronics, bringing us within reach of breathtaking capabilities that will transform almost every facet of the information society and economy.

  • Waveguides, to transport light around the photonic circuit.
  • Nonlinear waveguides, which are the basis of wavelength shifters, demultiplexers, optical performance monitors and other nonlinear signal processing elements. CUDOS’ highly nonlinear waveguides made of chalcogenide glass have established international benchmarks in these applications.
  • Filters, for example Bragg filters in waveguides, which isolate a specific spectral component of the light being processed.

The outstanding success of the CUDOS program over 2003 to 2010 gave the research group the motiviation and commitment to develop and present to the Australian Research Council (ARC) a new proposal for an exciting seven years research program in photonic integrated circuits; which the ARC agree to support:

  • To perform signal processing applications at very low powers, to ensure that the power of photonic processors is not consumed by the energy they consume. By going to single photon power levels, we can also open up a host of quantum photonic processing applications.
  • To integrate different materials into the one photonic device, so that we can, for example, bring together linear and nonlinear components on the one chip.
  • To develop new optical materials whose properties are very, very different to anything used to date, and open up completely new design options for photonic circuits. Photonic crystals show us the way: these artificial materials are made by writing periodic sub-wavelength features into materials like silicon; by doing so, we obtain optical properties completely different to the host material. We have extended this to the study of metamaterials, a dramatic new field in photonics where materials can have negative refraction, or can ‘cloak’ an object to make it invisible.

These exciting research opportunities have been explored by CUDOS over the past years to develop ultrafast signal processors, quantum photonic processors, and integrated photonic devices for the mid infrared.

The CUDOS Legacy

In 2017, CUDOS leads Australian expertise in photonics, a technology of fundamental importance in communications, defence, consumer products, and other sectors.

Many of the benefits realised through the investment in CUDOS will be realised years if not decades after the Centre’s operation have ceased.

The outputs (IP, publications) in ultrahigh bandwidth signal processing will have significant impact on the quality of the national electronic warfare defensive capabilities and the sensitivity of our radar systems.

The start-up companies founded through CUDOS research will play an important role in the development of low-cost, internet-enabled sensors for the environment and for applications in personal health.

The training and education of a cohort of more than 130 expert researchers who have gone into industry, academia, government, and professional roles and whose research expertise and problem solving capabilities will provide on-going benefits to Australia for decades.