Web-based interactive simulations and virtual lab for photonics education
Author(s)Verlage, Erik; Saini, Sajan; Agarwal, Anuradha; Serna, Samuel; Kosciolek, Ryan; Morrisey, Trevor; Kimerling, Lionel C; ... Show more Show less
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There is large industry demand for qualified engineers and technicians in photonics advanced manufacturing. Current workforce training methods require expensive state-of-the-art laboratory equipment, as well as commercial licenses for photonic design software, which can be prohibitively costly for many universities. Virtual laboratories and Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) can help fill this training gap by providing a scalable approach to photonics workforce education for an international audience. In this project, AIM Photonics Academy-the education initiative of AIM Photonics, a Manufacturing USA Institute-is creating a virtual laboratory to enable self-directed learning for the emerging photonics workforce. Students learn photonic device and circuit modeling in a 3D online virtual lab environment with interactive simulations of micron-scale photonic visualizations. An intuitive interface highlights the most critical device design parameters and their optimal operational settings for applications in Datacom, wireless communication, sensing, and imaging. Simulations include silicon waveguide propagation and loss, radial waveguide bends, and directional couplers for photonic integrated circuits (PICs). In spring of 2019, AIM Academy has integrated these simulations into an online course focused on PIC-chip design, with a fundamentals course expected in fall of 2019. Additionally, these online tools will be used in a blended learning curriculum in 2020 to train engineers and technicians in semiconductor design, testing and packaging for photonics applications. Following online module completion, students can take blended learning on-site workshops at affiliated university laboratories to capitalize on their simulated training with hands-on experiments in chip design, packaging, and optical or electrical testing.
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Materials Science and Engineering; MIT Materials Research Laboratory
Proceedings of SPIE--the Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers
Verlage, Erik et al. “Web-based interactive simulations and virtual lab for photonics education.” Paper presented at the Fifteenth Conference on Education and Training in Optics andPhotonics, ETOP 2019, Quebec City, Quebec, 21-24 May 2019, SPIE, 111430W © 2019 The Author(s)
Final published version