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Project Overview

Today the photonics global market is around €300 billion and Europe has established a strong position with a total share of 20%. Photonics is an important enabling technology, with photonic devices such as semiconductor lasers and solar cells underpinning advances in areas as diverse as communications, energy, environment and life sciences. The rapid growth in the field is forecast to result in relevant qualified workforce shortages in the near future, a fact highlighted by the European Technology Platform, Photonics21, in its Strategic Research Agenda. The agenda identifies as key challenges for the next few years the training of qualified photonics researchers and the improvement of research coordination and cooperation across Europe.

This Initial Training Network, Postgraduate Research on Dilute Metamorphic Nanostructures and Metamaterials in Semiconductor Photonics (PROMIS), aims to address these issues by training a cohort of 15 early stage researchers (ESRs) in the full range of skills required to undertake a career in photonics. The consortium, consisting of 8 academic partners, 2 full industry partners and 9 associate partners (all but one of whom is industry), are ideally positioned to impart these skills, with world-class expertise ranging from theory & design to growth and fabrication, through structural and device characterisation and up to industrial applications. The strong industry involvement in the consortium ensures an application specific, end-user target for the researchers’ training, and gives each network fellow experience of the industry workplace. The core skills in developing cutting edge dilute nitride nanostructured and metamorphic semiconductors can be applied through photonics to enable a wide range of applications, and this will be demonstrated by leveraging the same fundamental skills to enable specific applications in each of the four diverse areas of communications, security, energy and environment.

Each WP will comprise a joint project involving 3-4 ESRs, with industry-specific objectives.

WP0: Management & Training

The training of the next generation of photonics researchers in PROMIS will be aided by secondments at industry partners, a series of network workshops, a summer school and a conference. The commitment and passion towards training and research of the assembled partners will guarantee network graduates with the multi-disciplinary capabilities to significantly contribute to the photonics knowledge-based economy, with wide-ranging and vibrant career opportunities. More…

WP1: Materials for ICT

Photonics in communications has been the backbone of paradigm-changing advances such as fibre optics and broadband internet, and is set to continue this into the future with faster and higher capacity links. However, this growth in capability also brings more stringent requirements for confidentiality and data protection. In PROMIS, we will focus on developing novel materials for single photon sources and detectors that will enable quantum cryptography and secure communications. More…

WP2: Materials for Security

Photonics is well established as an important enabling technology for security providing the military capability for advanced warfare, including night vision, surveillance, missile guidance systems and protec tion against anti-terrorist threats as well as commercial and domestic imaging and remote sensing applications. In PROMIS, we aim to realise new metamorphic materials and detectors including avalanche photodiodes (APDs) and single photon avalanche diodes (SPADs), which will be particularly suited to mid-infrared and x-ray detection and imaging applications.More…

WP3: Materials for Security

The generation, management and use of energy has always been important to society, and is even more relevant today as fossil fuel resources dwindle and the effects of global warming become apparent. Renewable energy sources are increasingly in demand, and the enormous amount of light and heat available from the sun holds great potential. PROMIS will explore novel photonic nanostructures in concentrator photovoltaic cells to improve the efficiency and economy of solar energy collection. More…

WP4: Materials for Environment

Monitoring the environment, whether it be the level of pollutants in the atmosphere, or gaseous components in industrial manufacturing processes, has been well served by photonics, utilising infrared absorption characteristics for gas sensing. PROMIS will develop novel materials for improved mid-infrared sources with improved efficiency and functionalised plasmonic metamaterials giving higher sensitivity in the detection of a range of important gases and bio-molecules. More…

Project Objectives

  • To produce a cohort of well-qualified, innovative young researchers with an industry focused and multi-disciplinary skill set
  • To develop new capabilities in single photon sources and detectors for secure telecom applications
  • To advance the state-of-the-art in mid-infrared, x-ray detection and imaging
  • To improve the performance of concentrator photovoltaic cells for clean energy generation
  • To provide new capabilities in high sensitivity environmental pollutant/greenhouse gas and bio-sensing applications