Online Short Term Course on Integrated Optics

A 5-day online Short term course on “Integrated Optics” was organized by Department of Electronics and Communication Engineering, Punjab Engineering College (Deemed to be University) was organized from 18th Jan to 22nd Jan, 2021. More than 100 participants from various Universities, Research organizations and Industries from India and abroad registered for the course. The STC was coordinated by Dr. Jyoti Kedia and Dr. Divya Dhawan with the primary objective of enriching the participants with the scientific advancements in the emerging areas of photonics integrated circuits ranging from wave propagation to nanosensors. The event was inaugurated Dr. Anantha Ramakrishna (Director, CSIR-CSIO, Chandigarh) followed by his talk on Controlling the light at the micro and nano-meter scale. He also gave the insights into concepts like plasmonics, metamaterials, SERS with their possible applications in the field of nanophotonic sensors.

The event started in presence of Prof. Dheeraj Sanghi, Director, PEC, Prof. Neena Gupta, Head, Dept. of Electronics and Communication Engineering and Dr. Sanjay Batish, Coordinator, TEQIP-III. Prof. Sanghi appreciated the efforts of Course coordinator to rope-in eminent speakers from leading research universities, defense and space laboratories and industries to deliver talks on different integrated optics and photonic technologies. He further encouraged the participants for responsible development of products based upon such technologies to meet out the most pressing human and societal needs. Further, Prof. Neena Gupta welcomed all the participants and dignitaries on behalf of the department. She also highlighted the significance of this course in terms of current technology scenario by briefing about course topics as well as highlighting their application scope. She then applauded the coordination team for gathering expertise from academia and industry for this course. Dr. Sanjay Batish, Coordinator TEQIP-III valued the organizing team and told the participants regarding various activities conducted with TEQIP-III funding.

On Day 1, Dr. Rajesh V. Nair, Associate Professor, IIT Ropar, followed the inaugural session and enlightened the participants with his research investigations on subwavelength photonic structures. He also covered the experimental facts about designing of photonic crystal structures for strong light confinement along with detailed descriptions of associated fundamentals. In afternoon session, Dr. Samudra Roy introduced Nonlinear pulse dynamics in nanostructured waveguides. He elaborated some of the trickiest phenomenon of nonlinear optics, specially supercontinuum generation and soliton pulses. After the highly advanced sessions, the day ended with a general view on “The Photonics-as the way of Great learning” delivered by Ex-DRDO Scientist, Sh. Manpreet Singh. He explained the existence of photons around us and how we can be pose solutions to recent challenges using integrated optics and photonics.

The Day-2 began with another highly informatics and enthusiastic talk by one of the pioneers of integrated optics in the country, Dr. Anurag Sharma, a Class-of-69 Professor at IIT Delhi, introduced the participants with the significance of numerical simulation methods for modelling the wave propagation in different types of optical waveguides. He introduced the modelling procedure for rectangular waveguides, as well as the state-of-the-art photonic crystal waveguides. He also discussed Deeply-etched and Non-symmetric waveguide grating structures for enabling strong on-chip coupling. He also presented a case study on tilted waveguides. Next session was given by Dr. Rajesh Kumar, IIT Roorkee, who presented his recent findings on the application of GST/Silicon as an important phase change material platform. He elaborated the need for hybrid silicon photonics while explaining different optical transmission windows. He also demonstrated some of the recent work been carried out by his group on Phase change switches, Straight waveguides based switches and Re-configurability with phase change materials. The day ended with a fantastic lecture focusing on advances and applications of optical fiber sensing technology by the Principal scientist-CSIO, Dr. Umesh Tiwari. He also explained the principle and working of a state-of-the-art LPG based biosensor device and also gave insights on the current market scenario of fiber based sensing technology.

Day-3, Associate Professor, Dr. Shankar K. Selvaraja from Centre for Nanoscience and Head of Photonic Research Group at IISC Bengaluru enthralled the audience with his talk on “Silicon-Photonics for next-generation connectivity and sensing”. He managed to cover almost every aspect of Silicon photonics along with presenting some of the experimental conducted by his group. He also introduced the participants with the upcoming facility for everyone to build their own photonic chip at CENSE as a part of the program PRISM, supported by Government of India for encouraging photonic research activity in India. Following the theme, Dr. Ramesh K. Sonkar, IIT Guwahati, presented some recent findings in his group related to on-chip silicon optical modulators and (de)- multiplexers for high-speed photonic integrated circuits. Finally, Dr. Samir K. Biswas, Assistant Professor and Head (Bio-Photonics Group), IISER Mohali delivered his talk on Bio-Photonics and advanced medical devices. He managed to familiarized the audience with concept of photo-acoustics and its role in monitoring human health.

On Day-4, another esteemed guest and senior Professor, Dr. Vipul Rastogi, Department of Physics, IIT Roorkee explained the physics behind the guided wave optical components for optical fiber communication systems. He elaborated some of the basic building blocks of guided wave propagation like dispersion management, optical fiber amplifier, directional couplers, WDM (waveguide division multiplexers), fiber grating based components and few mode optical fiber amplifier for futuristic system. The next session was presented by the industry expert, Director-Fiber Optic Services, Mr. Pravin Joshi who demonstrated the use of RSOFT-CAD tool for designing and simulating the Photonics integrated devices and circuits. The day ended with a talk delivered by Senior Scientist, Dr. Saumya Sen Gupta at SCL Mohali. Dr. Saumya explained the role of integrated optics in the field of advanced imaging and solar cell technologies. He discussed some of the most commonly used light coupling schemes for solar as well as infrared imagers like ARC (antireflection coatings) as well as DBRs (distributed brag reflectors).

On the last day, Senior scientist from SCL Mohali, Dr. H. S. Jatana, explained about latest issues faced by conventional imaging technology and clearly marked the future scope of integrated optics in this area. He discussed important fundamentals necessary for understanding the capture of sensing data by electro-optic imaging systems. Dr. Anshuman K. Srivastava, Assistant Professor at IIT Bombay took the next session to the world of nonlinear optics by explaining the importance of the Polaritons for nanoscale optics. He covered every aspect of this class of optics from basics to advanced and also answered some of the common doubts for participants working on nonlinear optics. With a foundation set, Dr. Saumendu Jana, Associate Professor at Thapar Institute, Patiala delivered the last session of this course while he illustrated the role of nonlinear optics. He specifically elaborated the concept of SOLITON Lasers as a case study and covered all the fundamental aspects of it along with its future challenges.

The event was concluded with a feedback session in which participants expressed their views and showed great satisfaction at the successful completion of the course. Participants also suggested to conduct some hands-on training sessions in future. This year’s STC offered wide range of lectures in photonics integrated circuits ranging from wave propagation to nanosensors said Dr. Jyoti Kedia and Dr. Divya Dhawan, Coordinator(s). They together thanked all the invited speakers for sharing their research experiences with the participants, and acknowledged the full support of Prof. Dheeraj Sanghi, Director, PEC and Prof. Neena Gupta, Head, Dept. of Electronics and Communication Engineering in the organization of STC. Dr. Divya Dhawan further showed gratitude to Dr. Sanjay Batish, Coordinator, TEQIP-III for financial support and the whole team working for the organization of this event.

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