IMT 28-18 Master Thesis: Nanophotonic Waveguide Switch by Shape Memory Actuation

Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) - KIT - Helmholtz Association

Karlsruhe, Germany

Work group:

Institute of Microstructure Technology (IMT)

Area of research:

Diploma & Master Thesis

Job description:

Nanophotonics is an exciting and very dynamic field of active research. Today, the need for active photonic components is increasing considerably. One example are optical waveguide switches that actively control the optical path of light, e.g. for reconfiguration of optical networks.

The Institute of Microstructure Technology (IMT) develops micro and nanoactuators for optical and biomedical applications using novel 'smart materials'. This class of materials includes shape memory alloys (SMA), which exhibit multifunctional properties and pronounced effects including shape memory effect and superelasticity. This enables the development of novel components for actuator and sensor applications on the micro- and nanometer length scale.

The aim of this master thesis is to learn all process steps that are needed to fabricate a nanophotonic switch and to further optimize it. Based on this, new components are to be simulated, fabricated and characterized. This includes the following subtasks:

FEM-based simulation of photonic elements

Design and optimization of layouts

Fabrication of devices by means of relevant semiconductor process techniques (such as reactive ion etching (RIE), electron beam lithography (e-beam))

Optical characterization of the fabricated devices

We are looking for ambitious, creative and self-motivated individuals who like to work within a multidisciplinary and international team. The prerequisite for a successful work is a careful way of working. Basic knowledge in optics and/or micro-/nanotechnology is desirable, knowledge of Matlab or Python is advantageous but not a prerequisite.

Field of study: Physics, Optics and Photonics, Mechanical engineering

Contact person:

M.Sc. Randy Fechner, IMT,
phone: +49 721 608-22759 (e-mail:
Prof. Dr. Manfred Kohl, IMT,
phone: +49 721 608-22798 (e-mail:

Please apply via recruiter’s website.

Quote Reference: Helmholtz-1744