Engineers are creating a photonics education toolkit to integrate photonics into colleges’ engineering and science curriculums.
The toolkit can help undergraduates learn practical skills in integrated photonics, such as characterizing and testing photonics integrated circuits, typically taught at the Ph.D. level. The team hopes that by teaching these skills earlier in life, more graduates will be able to enter the integrated photonics industry workforce and meet the growing demand for photonics technicians and engineers.
This toolkit will bridge the gap between the growing demand for silicon photonics job opportunities and the supply of technicians and engineers with hands-on experience in the field.
This toolkit will provide undergraduate and master’s students with hands-on integrated photonics training, preparing them to fill new job opportunities.
The Integrated Photonics Education Kit (IPEK) is a pre-packaged silicon photonic platform. Instructors can use it as part of an engineering laboratory course to teach students the fundamental building blocks of photonic integrated circuits. Students can gain experience designing, assembling, and testing photonics integrated circuits by experimenting and tinkering with the plug-and-play kit.
A waveguide, micro-ring resonator, short and long Bragg mirrors, filters, and a Mach-Zehnder interferometer are the photonic components used in the current prototype. These are fundamental building blocks in educational, research, and industrial settings.