14 Feb 2018
WOW Research Projects at the ÉTS PHotonics Innovation Laboratory
Header image bought from istock.com: copyright.
The article published January 25, 2018, on Substance, entitled “Special Optical Fibres and Doughnut-Shaped Beams—New Photonic Tools” presented specialty optical fibres, doughnut-shaped beams and their applications in telecommunications, as well as laser machining, sensors and optical fibres used in health technologies. On February 7, 2018, ÉTS Professor Bora Ung and former postdoctoral researcher Yann Facchinello—now system designer at Zimmer CAS—gave a lecture hosted by the Substance team entitled “Doughnut Beams, Special Optical Fibres and their Applications” as part of an ÉTS Graduate Evening event (Soirées des cycles supérieurs). This first of three articles presents current and upcoming research projects at the ÉTS PHotonics Innovation Laboratory directed by Bora Ung.
In the Professor Bora Ung’s PHotonics Innovation Laboratory 0f Montreal’s École de technologie supérieure (ÉTS), students and researchers are working on original, captivating, daring and bold research projects: in fact, WOW research projects. They design distributed fibre sensors that can measure pressure, tension, environmental leakage data (eg oil) over several kilometers, accurate and compact fibre optic sensors that measure a multitude of air quality data under extreme conditions, ultra-high precision microscopes, accurate and affordable laser machining techniques, special optical fibers and multiplexers that are more efficient than current optical fibers and a multitude of other WOW projects.
This first article in a series of three presents the team of researchers at ÉTS PHotonics Innovation Laboratory, their approach to teamwork in research and a first series of WOW research projects.
Research Orientations and Teamwork
Different research topics in one particular field may overlap. They can be complementary, providing opportunities for researchers to work in teams. In this teamwork approach, students can seek help from other researchers with complementary skills. For example, a researcher with good simulation skills could help another who is better skilled in experimentation, and vice versa. By working together, students get results sooner and learn teamwork. However, to avoid any conflict in the authorship of a multi-author publication, each student researcher has a very specific description of projects (plan A and plan B). Postdoctoral researchers, while pursuing their own research projects, provide support to the many projects underway in the laboratory.
Research Plan A and Plan B
Students conducting research with Professor Bora Ung, as well as with Professor François Blanchard, have a research plan A and a plan B. There are several justifications for a plan B. First, pending plan A results or the reception of material to move the project forward, students can work on their plan B project. Second, because there are often more research ideas than people and hours to develop them, plan B ensures that many pending ideas are addressed by a project leader. What is more, researchers put forward hypotheses that help develop or find solutions to a research issue. Since research involves risks, results achieved may not always match those anticipated. It is more difficult to have these unexpected (negative) results accepted for publication. However, plan B researches allow publication of alternative articles.
Research Team Composition
Professor Bora Ung’s research team includes one postdoctoral researchers, three doctoral students, one master’s student, and one undergraduate student.
Dipankar Sengupta – Modal Converters, Fibre Optic Moisture Sensors
Dipankar Sengupta is a post-doctoral researcher from the University of Padua (Italy), where he completed a postdoctoral internship in distributed fibre sensors, and from the National Institute of Technology (Warangal, India). As part of his work at ÉTS, he designed multimode fibre optic modal converters with Prabin Pradhan.
A long-path diffraction grating of 1 to 4 cm is printed inside a multimode fibre. This makes it possible, for example, to convert a Gaussian beam at the input into a doughnut beam at its output. Postdoctoral researcher Sengupta also collaborated with Prabin Pradhan in characterizing Brillouin scattering gain in a multimode fibre. He is also working with Senswear Inc. on the design of fibre optic moisture sensors.
Prabin Pradhan – Distributed Fibre Sensors and Optical Doughnut Beams
Prabin Pradhan holds a Bachelor’s degree in Physics and a Master’s degree in Photonics from the Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning in India. He is currently pursuing Ph.D. studies at ÉTS under the direction of Professor Bora Ung. His plan A research project involves distributed fibre sensors based on the stimulated Brillouin effect principle according to which the optical fiber entirety acts as a sensor .
Prabin Pradhan’s plan B project deals with generating optical doughnut beams. This doughnut beam is characterized by an intensity pattern resembling a donut with a hole at the center of near-zero intensity. Prabin Pradhan has developed a method that allows generating while precisely controlling the dimensions of an annular beam. This beam has two diameters that it is now possible to modulate with this new method: the inside diameter of the hole (donut) and the outside diameter. Before Prabin Pradhan’s work, researchers could only control the diameter of the periphery. A research article was recently published on this discovery .
Other Articles on the Subject
Please read the following articles (to be published shortly) presenting current and upcoming research projects at the ÉTS PHotonics Innovation Laboratory directed by Bora Ung.
Research Projects Available at the PHotonics Innovation Laboratory
Master’s and Ph.D. projects at ÉTS are available in electrical engineering with Professor Bora Ung and in mechanical engineering with Professor Eric Wagnac. These projects are focused on the design of flexible silicone waveguides to produce flexible biometric sensors that can easily be integrated into clothing. Applications in health and athletics are being considered.
Professor Bora Ung is always ready to listen to students interested in laser, fibre-optic and electromagnetic applications, for end-of-studies projects and 15-credit master’s projects in engineering.