Online Courses

Online courses:

Photonic Integrated Circuits 1 (PIC1): Fabless Design of Photonic Integrated Circuits within the AIM Foundry Ecosystem




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This eight-week online edX course, which includes two one-week pauses to focus on designing, introduces students and industry professionals to the fabless design of silicon Photonic Integrated Circuits (PICs), using industry-leading Electronic Photonic Design Automation (EPDA) software tools. Registrants are guided through a step-by-step design sequence that culminates in the tape-out of an electro-optically active PIC chip that is suitable for fabrication by AIM Photonics Institute’s Multi-Project-Wafer (MPW) facility. 




Photonic Integrated Circuits (PIC): Sensors  Have you wondered how a PIC sensor works? In this new course, Dr. Agarwal (MIT) and Prof. Hu (MIT) examine the basics of photonics chem-bio sensing components and techniques. They provide learners with insights to lay a foundation for them to envision their own PIC sensors. Students will learn to make judicious decisions regarding wavelengths, materials platforms, light sources, spectrometers, and photodetector solutions based on their desired application. The course includes a diverse line-up of invited leading-edge PIC sensor experts from around the world, who review critical metrics for designing photonics sensing systems. This six-week asynchronous course will be released in spring 2021.




Integrated Circuits Testing: Passive Devices Prof. Hu (MIT) reviews test characterization methods for passive integrated photonics components, including fiber-to-chip coupling schemes, waveguides, spirals, Mach Zehnder Interferometers, Y-splitters, ring resonators, and directional couplers. Waveguide characterization will focus on loss and dispersion measurements, and examine wavelength and polarization dependencies.  Prof. Jaime Cardenas (U of Rochester) will offer his expertise in Design for Manufacturing (DfM) and testing at a wafer-scale. Anu Agarwal (MIT) will demonstrate a specific testing application. This three-week asynchronous course will be released in spring 2021.




Fundamentals of Integrated Photonics Prof. Kimerling and Dr. Saini introduce 21st century technology drivers for datacom, RF wireless, sensing, and imaging applications, that require uniquely integrated photonics chip solutions. The instructors review the fundamentals of light-matter interaction and optical confinement, and examine basic chip device components as examples of PIC design engineering principles. This six-week asynchronous course will be released in spring 2021.



Design of Microring Resonators and Filters in Silicon Photonics Foundry Platforms Microring resonators are a foundational building block of next-generation photonic integrated circuits for high-density communication links, sensing, RF and mm-wave signal processing, and emerging quantum information applications. This course introduces fundamentals through state-of-the-art techniques of microring resonator device and photonic circuit design, and through hands-on design of a coupled-resonator bandpass filter. Learners will gain an understanding of (i) coupled-resonator circuits, (ii) filter synthesis, (iii) waveguide, bend, and resonator design, (iv) coupler design, (v) thermo-optic tuning, (vi) layered device-to-circuit level build-up of models of increasing accuracy, and (vii) scaling rules, rule-of-thumb intuition, and design for manufacturing, including implementation in a silicon photonics foundry platform.  This course will be offered in the late spring of 2021.




Integrated Photonics Simulation Library Explore the library of interactive digital tools with accompanying lectures by Dr. Erik Verlage (MIT) and multiple experts from the Virtual Manufacturing Lab. Build intuition for optical circuit fundamentals using interactive simulations and application-focused games. The library covers the following topics: waveguide fundamentals, mode coupling, waveguide bends, fiber-to-chip coupling, directional couplers, Y-splitters, multimode interferometers, ring resonators, bragg gratings, and Mach-Zehnder interferometers/modulators.




Juejun Hu

Integrated Circuits Test: Active Devices The course reviews test characterization methods for active integrated photonics components, including photodetectors (by Prof. Juejun Hu from MIT), modulators (by Prof. Jelena Notaros from MIT), light sources (by Prof. Jifeng Liu from Dartmouth College), and full photonic links (by Prof. Jaime Cardenas from the University of Rochester). The course will also include lab demos illustrating the different device characterization techniques. This three-week asynchronous course will be released in summer 2021.




Randy Kirchain


Understanding Cost and Environmental Impacts of Photonics Manufacturing

Can sustainable integrated photonics be produced cost effectively? The goal of this class is to make students aware of the key cost and environmental issues in integrated photonics manufacturing and to expose them to the core methods of evaluating production cost and environmental impact. Specifically, these tools are process-based cost modeling and environmental lifecycle assessment. This course was developed to cultivate awareness of these issues and the corresponding analytical tools within designers of photonics integrated circuits, but the strategic nature of these topics makes the content relevant for most individuals engaged in design, production, or marketing of such products. The course includes a diverse line-up of invited lectures with leading-edge experts from around the world, who review critical methods for evaluating photonics.

Students will learn the methods of process-based cost modeling and life-cycle assessment (LCA) to evaluate manufacturing cost and environmental impact. Students will develop an awareness of some of the key issues driving cost and environmental impact for integrated photonics. They will gain understanding for the complexities and requirements of LCA and understand different methodologies for impact assessment. Finally, they will identify the possible applications and limitations of LCA and its role within photonics.  This course will be offered in the summer of 2021.



Photodetectors and Modulators for Silicon Photonics

The course, taught by Dr. Jurgen Michel, will cover the basic principles of designing and fabricating photodetectors and modulators for silicon photonics. The first part will review photodetector requirements and the materials and device designs that can meet those requirements. Examples of fabricated photodetectors will be given.

The second part will review modulation principles for silicon photonics. The course will discuss how those principles can be converted into functional devices. The benefits and shortcomings of the different designs will be evaluated and examples will be presented.

At the end of the course, you will have learned how to integrate photodetectors and modulators into Si photonic circuits using a CMOS platform. You will be able to select the best devices for your applications.  This course will be offered in the summer of 2021.



Silicon Photonics Design, Fabrication Data Analysis The University of British Columbia's Lukas Chrostowski offers an edX course titled, "Silicon Photonics Design, Fabrication and Data Analysis," which is offered several times a year.  You can learn more about the course here and by watching the above video.