Photonic Integrated Circuit based Systems

The Photonic Integrated Circuit (PIC) based Systems group at DTU Electro excels in developing innovative PIC-based solutions for a wide range of applications, including Light detection and ranging (LiDAR), optical computing and signal processing, biosensing and optical wireless communication, pushing the boundaries of various fields like autonomous driving, artificial intelligence, healthcare, and high-speed data transmission.

Photonic integrated circuit

PICs, or photonic chips, utilise photons instead of electrons to sense, process, and transmit information. These miniaturised circuits integrate multiple photonic components for various functionalities. PICs can also be combined with traditional electronic chips for even greater capabilities.

In the Photonic Integrated Circuit (PIC) based Systems group at DTU Electro, we do research on all levels of PICs: design, simulation, fabrication in cleanroom, packaging, testing and finally applying PICs in real-world applications including LiDAR, optical computing, bioimaging, free-space optical (FSO) communication and underwater optical wireless communication (UOWC).

  • LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging): A 3D sensing technology using lasers to measure distance, crucial for autonomous vehicles and robotics. We develop integrated optical phased array (OPA) based "LiDAR-on-a-chip" technology.
  • Photonic processors for computing: With the rise of Artificial Intelligence (AI), traditional electronics struggle to handle massive data analysis. PIC-based processors offer a new approach to computing, significantly improving efficiency for AI tasks.
  • Biomedical imaging: We collaborate on developing a novel microscopy technique: integrated OPA based multi-photon lightsheet fluorescence microscopy, enabling real-time imaging of dynamic biological processes within the human body.
  • Free-space optical (FSO) communication: This wireless communication technique uses light to transmit information, ideal for satellite links and supplement to ground networks. Our research focuses on robust, high-speed FSO systems using integrated OPAs for beam control.
  • Underwater optical wireless communication (UOWC): Reliable UOWC networks are essential for ocean exploration and monitoring. We collaborate on developing an integrated blue OPA based UOWC system, offering high data rates, long distances, and low power consumption.

PICs offer exceptional precision in sensing and data processing. We aim to leverage this technology for a more sustainable future, aligning with key EU initiatives:

  • Digital Transformation: PICs will play a vital role in the digitalization of various industries.
  • Strategic Value Chains: Developing PIC-based technologies strengthens European technological independence and creates valuable economic opportunities.
  • Digital and Technological Sovereignty and Security: PICs contribute to Europe's self-reliance in critical technological advancements.
We are committed to educating the next generation of scientists with expertise in PICs, facilitating the implementation of the EU Chips Act, and ultimately, bolstering European leadership in the semiconductor industry.


Hao Hu

Hao Hu Group Leader, Senior Researcher