In this edition, Uğur Teğin, a Ph.D. student from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne (EPFL), shares his fascination about nonlinear optics as he is approaching the end of his Ph.D. Piotr Winiarz, who is working as a postdoc at Gdańsk University of Technology on electroceramic materials, explains his goal to create a greener future. And Mansoor Ahamed, a Ph.D. student at the Bimberg Chinese-German Center for Green Photonics, works on improving VCSELs for more energy-efficient systems. Please do get in touch if you would like to share what motivates you about your research and show us what your lab looks like.

Senta Jantzen

My name is Uğur Teğin, and I am a Ph.D. student at the Laboratory of Optics and Laboratory of Applied Photonics Devices, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne (EPFL). I studied physics at Bilkent University in Turkey and worked on fiber lasers and nonlinear optics. My research at EPFL has concentrated on learning and controlling spatiotemporal nonlinear dynamics in the multimode fibers. Understanding and controlling nonlinear systems for different applications really fascinates me. We have recently demonstrated that multimode optical nonlinearities can process information and are utilized as an optical computing framework. We have also discovered that harnessing spatiotemporal dynamics leads to several unique designs of fiber lasers and machine learning-based nonlinear frequency generation. I am currently only a few months away from submitting my PhD thesis and hoping to further my understanding of optical nonlinearities with postdoctoral studies.

My name is Piotr Winiarz, and I work at the Faculty of Applied Physics and Mathematics at Gdańsk University of Technology in Poland. During my PhD studies, I was examining proton-conducting electroceramic materials. Now I’m a post-doc researcher in the Institute of Nanotechnology and Materials Engineering, and my scientific work is currently focused on investigating the materials that can be used in Solid Oxide Fuel Cells and Protonic Ceramic Fuel Cells. These electrochemical devices produce electricity through simple chemical reactions occurring at their anode and cathode. Hence we can use them, for example, to power up buses or cars instead of gasoline, which produces exhaust gases.

The experiments performed by our group are groundbreaking because we investigate different kinds of materials such as thin-layered perovskites or high-entropy oxides, which can conduct oxygen ions, electrons and protons simultaneously. This is very interesting because with these so-called triple-conducting oxides we try to develop a cheap, efficient and clean source of energy thatis crucial when looking at increasing electrical energy demand around the world. To extend the fields of our investigations and increase the research potential, we also cooperate with the University of Oslo – Norway and Kaunas University of Technology – Lithuania. I hope that my experiments will lead to a big revolution in the energy market.

I am Mansoor Ahamed, a Ph.D. student from India, studying at the Bimberg Chinese-German Center for Green Photonics, CIOMP, Chinese Academy of Science. We are located in North-East China, where it is very cold during winter. To me, it’s an exceptional opportunity to be part of Professor Dieter Bimberg’s international research team with its two Associate Professors, Gunter Larisch and Tian Sicong. My research focuses on the development of multi-aperture VCSELs to validate some very recently submitted patents with the potential to revolutionize these lasers. My study is of significant impact for different VCSEL applications in data centers and for automotive applications, since temperature stability, efficiency, and output power will be increased. To demonstrate the advancement, I had to redesign the existing VCSEL model to create multiple emitters, requiring lots of discussion with the professors and trial-and-error fabrication – it was a time-consuming process. Still, Professor Bimberg and his associates were always ready to guide me at every instance of need. Even during the current ongoing pandemic, our team has put enormous effort to keep our research on track. The research center is young and international, established only three years ago and comprises most advanced facilities for both fabrication and characterization of photonic devices, to deliver cutting-edge technological advancements focusing on energy-efficiency systems for a sustainable society, an important aspect widely ignored until now. I firmly believe my Doctoral studies at the Center is the beginning of a promising personal future in research.