Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL)

EPFL is one of the two Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology. With over 350 laboratories and research groups on campus, EPFL is one of Europe’s most innovative and productive scientific institutions. Ranked in the top 3 in Europe and in the top 20 worldwide in many scientific rankings, EPFL has attracted the best researchers in their fields combining fundamental research and engineering.

Coordination of TeraSlice will be carried out by the group of Prof. Tobias J. Kippenberg at the Laboratory of Photonics and Quantum Measurements (LPQM).  Research at LPQM focuses on ultra-high Q optical and mechanical micro- and nanostructures and their application for exploring mechanical systems in the quantum regime (research field of Cavity Quantum Optomechanics), and as sources of photonic integrated optical frequency combs. Foundational to these activities is an extensive research program in semiconductor processing and the development of novel fabrication methods such as the photonic Damascene process.

In TeraSlice, EPFL will lead efforts in developing a fully chip-integrated silicon nitride frequency comb generator based on Tobias Kippenberg’s pioneering work in microresonator frequency combs and expertise in dissipative Kerr soliton generation from passive nonlinear microresonators. Soliton microcombs comprise ultra-compact sources of coherent multi-frequency laser light uniquely suited to applications in ultra-broadband coherent communications. Despite the core component, the passive microresonator being smaller than 0.05 mm2, soliton microcombs still utilize large diode lasers and fiber amplifiers in order to operate. Harnessing recent breakthroughs in optical loss mitigation in integrated photonic waveguides in the CMi cleanroom at EPFL, fully integrated soliton microcombs become attainable at record low powers and compatible with contemporary photonic integrated laser sources.

Prof. Tobias Kippenberg is Full Professor at the Institute of Physics and Electrical Engineering since 2013.  He joined EPFL in 2008 as Tenure Track Assistant Professor and prior to EPFL, he was Independent Max Planck Junior Research group leader at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics in Garching. While at the MPQ he demonstrated radiation pressure cooling of optical micro-resonators, and developed techniques with which mechanical oscillators can be cooled, measured and manipulated in the quantum regime that are now part of the research field of Cavity Quantum Optomechanics. Moreover, his group discovered the generation of optical frequency combs using high Q micro-resonators, a principle known now as microcombs or Kerr combs. He is co-founder of the startup LIGENTEC SA, which is one of the TeraSlice partners.  He has coordinated 3 other large scale projects within the FP7 and H2020 EU frameworks, including Marie Curie ITN (cQOM, OMT), and FET-Proactive (HOT).

Prof. Tobias Kippenberg
Project Coordinator