POLYNICES project launched in Europe

ǀ  TOPTICA News Company News

POLYNICES is a research and innovation effort to provide a general-purpose photonic integration platform that meets all the cost, performance, scalability and manufacturability requirements for the next generation of photonic modules.

The POLYNICES project was officially launched with the kick-off meeting held on January 12 and 13, 2023. All eight members of the consortium gathered for a two-day productive meeting at the premises of TOPTICA in Munich to analyze in detail the POLYNICES work plan, to specify in detail the role of each partner in the implementation of the project and to define the next actions.

POLYNICES will develop a fully integrated FMCW THz spectrometer with > 2 THz bandwidth, 8 THz antenna array and beam steering abilities for plastic quality inspection, a 16x16 quantum processor with integrated 780 nm light source and non-linear crystals and a 24x24 quantum processor with integrated squeezed light state source. The POLYNICES technology provides a holistic approach to photonic integration and packaging and can certainly make advanced photonic modules affordable for SMEs.

Polymer-based technology platform for hybrid integrated optical components

Specifically, POLYNICES will spin-coat Fraunhofer's PolyBoard material on PCBs for the first time to realize a low-cost electro-optical PCB (EOPCB) motherboard with low-loss single mode waveguides and good RF properties, which will host silicon nitride chips, InP components and micro-optical elements for advanced functionalities in properly formed pockets. POLYNICES takes advantage of LioniX's Si3N4 platform with PZT actuators to realize matrices and novel narrow linewidth external cavity lasers in 1×1 cm2 chiplets with ultra-low power consumption. The grid array arrangement of the electrode pads of the chiplets and the use of flip-chip integration on vertical alignment stops will allow passive optical alignment and electrical connection to the electrical pads of the EOPCB in a single assembly step. Although the chiplets will accommodate different structures for different functionalities, they will all share the same size, optical and electrical interfaces, defining standard building blocks that lead to tremendous customization and scalability potential with minimal effort and cost. Different functionalities can be installed on the motherboard by selecting the chiplets, or the same chiplet can be installed multiple times to scale the circuit. Most importantly, POLYNICES provides a unified approach to photonic integration and packaging, as the electronic ICs are co-packaged on the same EOPCB, significantly reducing packaging costs. On the other hand, the good RF properties of the EOPCB allow THz antennas to be integrated directly on the substrate.

The consortium

POLYNICES consortium consists of eight partners from four European countries (Greece, the Netherlands, Germany, and Spain).

Among those partners, there are three SMEs (PHIX, Optagon and QuiX), one industry-oriented research institute (Fraunhofer), two large companies (LioniX, TOPTICA) and two academic organizations (ICCS and UC3M) with strong exploitation interests and channels.

The partners have been brought together due to their expertise and expected contributions to individual technical aspects of POLYNICES project. Some of them are irreplaceable in the sense that their expertise and technical infrastructure are unique in Europe, and thus necessary for achieving POLYNICES objectives.

For more information, visit POLYNICES website horizon-de-polynices.eu