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Peter Tønning

PhD Student, Postdoc

Peter Tønning
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Peter Tønning is a Ph.D student at the Department of Engineering at Aarhus University researching Photonics.

He has a background in physics from Aarhus University where he graduated in 2016. His bachelor project was on modeconversion in optical fibers by nanostructuring with fs laserpulses. For his masters thesis Peter worked as a part of the SunTune project at Aarhus University. His research was on experiementally mapping the near field of metal nano-particles. 

His current research is within microwave photonic oscillators integrated on an optical chip.


Project title: Microwave Photonic Oscillators Integrated on an Optical Chip

”Timing is everything” is a saying usually reserved for delivering punch-lines. In the field of communication technology, the sentence is literally true and ultra-precise timing is key in advancing the present network society. The timekeepers of technology, oscillators, provide the clock frequency for computing systems, enable carriers for information in wireless communication and provide timing in GPS and radar systems. Oscillators can be realised in a number of different ways, electronic based, crystal based or, more recently, photonic based. 

The optoelectronic oscillator, realised for the first time 20 years ago, offers performance in the GHz-regime way beyond what can be realised by other oscillator types. An optoelectronic oscillator utilises a mix of electronic and photonic components as the name suggests to combine the existing electron-powered technological platform with the superior bandwidth and low-loss capabilities of photons in waveguides/fibers. So far, these systems have been reserved mainly for research purposes due to considerable size and cost as well as lack of robustness. Recent advance in photonic integrated circuits means that the realisation of an optoelectronic oscillator on a chip is within reach.

The goal of this project is to create an optoelectronic oscillator on a chip with a frequency in the GHz regime and phase noise performance better than the crystal based alternative. An oscillator at this frequency would allow for advances in e.g. Doppler radar technology and future high-speed wireless communication.

This research is done in close collaboration with Ph.D student Lars Nielsen, so for another take on this project, see Lars Nielsen's project description.

Main supervisor: Assoc. Prof. Martijn Heck

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