Empa Antenna at EPF Lausanne
► The Laboratory for Photonic Materials and Characterization acts as antenna for Empa, the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology. It is our goal to work closely with our colleagues at EPF and enhance our presence in the region through collaborations, common research projects as well as scientific and personal contacts.
► The Photonic activities at Empa range from optical materials deposition and processing to optical analyses and spectroscopies of the various effects. They comprise novel device functions for various applications in ICT, light energy conversion and harvesting, sensors, medical applications. The work is done in different labs covering the three sites Dübendorf, St.Gallen and Thun as well as utilizing the First Lab of ETH, the Empa antenna at EPF in Lausanne and the Binning-Rohrer Nanotech Facility of IBM in Rüschlikon.
In the lab of the LPMAT EPF antenna we are researching novel materials and enabling technologies for integrated optics. Our current focus is on the fabrication and patterning processes of thin films of oxide optical materials. Functional non-linear optical materials like LiNbO3 and BaTiO3 can be used in integrated optical modulators or switches. We also have optimized deposition methods for active or passive, crystalline or amorphous thin films waveguides. Mastering the crystalline and functional properties and shape (thin films, waveguides) of the materials will enable the realisation of the next generation on-chip optical communications.Recently, we have optimized the fabrication of high quality epitaxial thin films of lithium niobate (LiNbO3) by high vacuum chemical vapour deposition (HV-CVD) technique, which is compatible with full wafer scale production.
► Laser processing is one of our major interests. It requires deep understanding of underlying light-material interraction processes and subsequent energy flow. We are active in research of dynamics of laser processing for better process understanding.
► We are investigating optical defect detection methods for transparent optical materials, in particular sapphire crystals and pieces. This involves the development of refractive index matching liquids and optical interferometric observation/measurement techniques.