TOPTRANS: a sub-micron alignment accuracy large-area micro-transfer printing tool for the electronic-photonic micro-systems of the future (TOPTRANS)
Today, one cannot imagine a world without electronics or photonics. Electronic chips are everywhere: they are the heart of our laptops and smartphones and are largely based on monolithic silicon-based technologies. Photonics is the science and technology that uses light and offers solutions where today's conventional technologies are approaching their limits in terms of speed, capacity and accuracy. Enriching the digital electronics world with photonic chips and materials is the foundation to the next wave of disruptive innovations. The key challenge is to develop a scalable technology that allows for the integration of a heterogeneous variety of photonic chips and materials with electronics, with a cost akin to that of a monolithic silicon chip. This technology is micro-transfer printing. TOPTRANS aims at installing a state-of-the-art wafer-scale microtransfer printing tool. This facility will be unique globally in an academic setting and makes Ghent University a reference center for heterogeneous integration for the coming decade. The tool will contribute significantly to the research of a multidisciplinary consortium of 17 promotors from 6 research groups with a focus on the photonic/electronic systems of the future, such as sensors for autonomous vehicles, AR/VR displays, brain/computer interfaces, quantum computers and wearables for digital health.