Distinguished Professor Arnan Mitchell has been awarded a 12-month Study Melbourne Research Partnerships program grant for his project titled…

Rapid prototyping photonics for ultrafast communications, satellites, sensors and bionics

International Partner: Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden

RMIT University’s state-of-the-art Micro-Nano Research Facility (MNRF) includes equipment allowing rapid in-house characterisation of devices to enable the complete loop of design, fabrication and characterisation to occur iteratively before systems level testing. Chalmers University brings substantial clean room infrastructure similar in scope and scale to the MNRF. The project will be supported by the Bionics Institute, Melbourne.

Other research partners: Bionics Institute

New technology to revolutionise photonic systems

  • Impact in high-speed data communications, navigation, and bionic implants
  • Combining the research partners technological specialisations in advanced photonic chips and lasers, resulting in faster and cheaper prototyping
  • Far-reaching industry applications with commercialisation opportunities

Learn more about the other researchers who have also been awarded a Study Melbourne Research Partnerships program grant in 2021.

Photonics is a multi-billion-dollar industry in Australia that underpins revolutionary technologies such fibre-optic internet, autonomous vehicles and next-generation bionic implants.

This project will create new technology that will enable entire photonic systems to be rapidly ‘printed’ as microchips or on biocompatible materials. These advances will enable faster and cheaper production of prototypes for industry and biomedical end-users and streamline mass manufacture.

Victorian partner RMIT University is a world leader in integrated photonic chips for high-speed communications, precision measurement and navigation systems. In mid 2020 they demonstrated the ‘world’s fastest internet from a single chip’ using optical frequency combs.

Swedish university Chalmers is recognised as a world leader in Vertical Cavity Surface Emitting Lasers (VCSELs) which are advanced optical light sources. These are extremely low cost and operate into the visible and ultraviolet wavelengths, which is particularly important for environmental and biomedical applications.

This project will interface Chalmers’ VCSELs with RMIT University’s photonic chips to create updated technologies. These will include a photonic chip transmitter for high-speed data communications, fibre-optic movement sensors for navigation, and flexible bionic implants for nerve stimulation in collaboration with the Bionics Institute. These advances will be revolutionary in each industry and have significant opportunities for commercialisation.