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Undergraduate Projects

Electrical engineering students Orion Chan and Qing Gu work with lasers and microelectromechanical systems in the Optoelectronics Research Group, on their final project. Qing received the Best Student Poster Award at the IEEE Microwave Photonics 2007 conference, for her work on injection-locked VCSELs (Conference Publication). She also published her work in IEEE Photonics Technology Letters, and is heading off to graduate school at UC San Diego.

Why Get Involved?

Our research group is always looking for bright and enthusiastic undergraduate students to work on various exciting projects. There is more than one way to get involved in our research. 1, you can contribute as part of the EECE 400/496 projects. 2, you can contribute as part of the NSERC USRA program. 3, You can volunteer your time for the summer of available semesters.

The benefits to you of your involvement are significant. You will gain valuable skills that you can apply in your industry or research career. You will work with a team of excellent researchers that will help you to develop critical thinking and self-directed learning skills which are essential for a successful career in engineering.

NSERC Undergraduate Student Research Awards (USRA) Program

Our research group accepts 1-3 USRA program students each summer. To get involved in this exciting program, please contact Dr. Chrostowski directly. The time to start thinking about applying is January-February, as the deadline is usually in March. To find out more about this program and how you can apply check out the NSERC USRA website.

EECE 400 / 496 Projects

Our research group accepts several students each semester. To get involved in the projects listed below, please contact Dr. Chrostowski and/or the graduate student listed for the project.

Silicon Nanophotonics

    This project is related to silicon photonics and silicon-on-insulator (SOI) nano-fabrication technology. Silicon photonics is a hot topic in optical communications and optoelectronics, with a huge investment from electronics industry for removing the bottleneck in electrical communications.

    The compatibility with silicon CMOS technologies makes SOI a very promising candidate for the future integration of photonics and electronics on a common silicon platform. During past four years, a trans-Canadian graduate course in silicon nanophotonics fabrication has been successfully developed at UBC (

    Many students have published their projects in journal papers and presented them at international conferences

    In the previous projects in 2009-2010 and 2010-2011, the Engineering Physics students developed a ring-resonator measurement system and a chip-to-chip coupling system. Their reports can be found here:

    For the upcoming projects, the students will have access to more advanced technologies in the context of Electronic Photonic Integrated Circuits (EPIC). The goal is to characterize active and passive silicon photonics devices and sub-systems, including optical modulators, wavelength-division multiplexers and de-multiplexers, and optical detectors. The students will be involved in system construction and measurement for novel designs. The students would also model the system using numerical or analytical method with commercial software packages and compare their experimental results with theory. Finally, the results should be written in a manuscript for journal and/or conference publication.

    Pre-requisite: EECE 484, EECE 482 or previous experience in experimentation.

    Graduate students: Wei Shi, Xu Wang, Robi Boeck, Miguel Guillen

Semiconductor Laser Optical Injection Locking

    Vertical Cavity Surface Emitting Lasers (VCSELs) have received tremendous attention because of their low-cost, arrayed operation, and are attractive for optical communications. These lasers are very small in size (~10-100 um) and can be modulated at high frequency (~10 GHz). Optical injection locking is a technique to stabilize the wavelength and phase of a laser, as well as to improve the performance (frequency response, noise, etc). This technique has shown to be useful for improving the performance of digital and analog optical communication systems.

    The project may involve some of: setting up experiments; perform experiments under both small signal and large signal digital modulation conditions; data analysis using Matlab; characterization of microwave link -- bandwidth, sensitivity, distortion, IMD3; theoretical understanding and mathematical modeling (Matlab).

    Pre-requisite: EECE 484, EECE 490L, or equivalent

    Graduate students: Xu Wang, Behnam Faraji

Glucose monitoring for Diabetes, using VCSELs

    The ultimate goal is to develop a miniature and low power implantable glucose sensor that is sensitive, selective, stable, and durable, that is mounted onto an endovascular implant for monitoring blood glucose levels. The short term objectives are to: 1) In an in-vitro bench-top environment, develop and validate the accuracy of the optical glucose sensor, using multi-VCSEL reflectance spectroscopy; 2) To develop and demonstrate a single-chip integrated VCSEL array-based glucose sensor.

    Pre-requisite: EECE 484, EECE 490L, EECE 482or equivalent

    Graduate student: Sahba Talebi Fard

Vertical Cavity Semiconductor Laser Modeling and Design, and Characterization

    Vertical Cavity Surface Emitting Lasers (VCSELs) have received tremendous attention because of their low-cost, arrayed operation, and are attractive for optical communications. These lasers are very small in size (~10-100 um) and can be modulated at high frequency (~10 GHz) and used for biological / biomedical applications.
    Our group has several software packages available for modeling of these devices (e.g. Crosslight PICS3D, RSoft LaserMod), and we are designing and fabricating.

    Pre-requisite: EECE 484, EECE 490L or equivalent

    Graduate students: Wei Shi, Behnam Faraji, Charlie Lin