Success Story 2018

Christiaan Bekker won the Micrograph Award 2018 and tells us about his research and the trip to the Workshop on OptoMechanics and Brillouin scattering: towards Applications and Technology in Tel-Aviv, Israel.

Fotograph of the Micrograph Award winner Christiaan Bekker
Micrograph Award winner Christiaan Bekker at WOMBAT

"Over the last couple of years, I have had the privilege of being able to work with a Raith eLINE Electron Beam Lithography system which has recently been installed at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia. The eLINE was instrumental in allowing the development of double-disk optomechanical systems with integrated, sub-micrometer-width interdigitated electrodes deposited precisely on the device surface. The resolution of the EBL allowed me to create compliant devices which were engineered to release stress in the thin glass disks, and to align multiple layers with exquisite precision to create a widely tuneable optical microcavity which can be used in applications from routing and switching in reconfigurable photonic circuits to picking out sharp spectral features of astronomical filters or precision spectrometers.

I was delighted to be awarded the Raith micrograph award for 2018 for my images of these devices captured on the eLINE system, and with their support I was able to present my work at the Workshop on OptoMechanics and Brillouin scattering: towards Applications and Technology (WOMBAT) 2019 in Tel-Aviv, Israel. This was my first European conference, and an amazing opportunity in my fourth year of PhD to not only grow in my depth of knowledge in my broader field, but to also learn more about Brillouin scattering and see my work from the eyes of that community. The conference expanded my horizons, and also offered a great opportunity to network and give exposure to what I have been doing.

SEM image of a Broadband-tunable double disk electro-optomechanical system with integrated gold electrodes
The winner picture 2018: Broadband-tunable double disk electro-optomechanical system with integrated gold electrodes

On top of this three-day conference, I was glad for the opportunity to visit Jerusalem and the north of Israel. Raith was incredibly helpful in allowing my return flight to be delayed an additional week, which not only allowed me to visit two world-leading labs in the Netherlands, but to also able to attend the Conference on Quantum Information and Measurement V in Rome. Though this conference was funded by my university, the entire trip would not have been possible without the support from Raith.

I am not only truly thankful for this opportunity, but have also benefited greatly professionally, both in terms of interest shown in this work throughout the trip, and nearing the end of my PhD (and the start of a hopefully fruitful career in research)."


Success Story 2017

Paul Kim won the Micrograph Award 2017 and tells us about his research and the trip to the École de physique des Houches in France:

Fotograph of the Micrograph Award winner Paul Kim
Micrograph Award winner Paul Kim

"The RAITH150 Two system was at the heart of all my experiments during the six years of graduate research, where I fabricated on-chip optomechanical devices to study nanoscale magnetism. As I was gaining valuable experiences with this EBL system, I was able to achieve exquisite torque sensitivity for small sub-picogram scale devices. After publishing my results, I wanted to attend and present at a prestigious conference called “spinmechanics5” joined with “NanoMRI6”. It is a rather a small but specialized group that fits well with my project for studying hybrid systems of mechanics and spin systems. I was aware of this Raith image competition and I quickly submitted my recent work. I was delighted to know that I won the first prize, which sponsored my attendance at École de physique des Houches in France during February of 2018.

First of all, I was excited to visit Europe for the first time at a desirable location in the Alps. In addition to the great scenery and delicious cheese, I came to love the conference site for historical reasons as well, where the first lectures of quantum mechanics were held in the 1950’s. Many Nobel Prize winners have given lectures in this very place. For spinmechanics5 and NanoMRI6, the qualities of the talks were astounding. It was an opportunity to expand my mind, learn new techniques, and gain valuable insights on future projects. As a contribution, I have presented a poster for two nights where I networked with leaders in this field. I truly learned a lot, and I will treasure this experience.

SEM image of a of a magneto-optomechanical torque sensor
The winner picture 2017: Actuation and damping of a magneto-optomechanical torque sensor

Overloaded with much information, I was grateful to stay one more day in Geneva to sightsee and to taste Swiss chocolate. It was somewhat difficult to leave the place.

I am grateful for a wonderful week in France and Swiss. It enriched my mind and body. I truly had a great time! Thanks!"  


Success Story 2015

Menno Poot won the Micrograph Award 2015 and tells us about his journey from the decision to participate in the Micrograph Award to the participation of the CLEO attendance in sunny California:

"Last year I participated in Raith's micrograph award with a SEM image of one of the devices that I made in the Yale University cleanroom with an EBPG5000 Plus. It is a photonic circuit for doing quantum optics with single photons on a chip. This complex device contains many state-of-the-art elements such as optomechanical phase shifters and superconducting single-photon detectors. 

SEM image of a photonic CNOT quantum gate
The winner picture 2015: a photonic CNOT quantum gate

After the final fabrication step, I inspected the chip and was happy to see that everything on it looked great. At this point I decided to take a few more images that would be useful for papers and presentations. Before, one of my colleagues had participated in Raith's micrograph award, and so I submitted my best picture.

I was delighted to hear that my picture was awarded the first prize: a fully sponsored trip to a conference of my choosing. After looking at different options, I decided that the CLEO conference in San José, California was perfect. It is one of the best conferences in the field of integrated optics and, not unimportantly, also at a great location. The hotel, conference and flights were all booked for me; I stayed in the Marriott which was very conveniently located next to the convention center.

Right when the conference started on Monday morning, I gave my talk on the integrated quantum optics chips. There were quite lot of people and in 12 minutes I showed the main results of my most recent results on fabricating and measuring these intriguing devices, and I had a lot of interesting questions afterwards. The other days, I attended a lot of talks, of course many in my own field, but CLEO is also a great opportunity to broaden your scope and learn a lot of new things. The conference ended Friday afternoon but I asked to have my return flight booked for a week later. This meant that, besides the great conference, I could also enjoy some of the beauty of California (on my own expenses). I rented a car for the second week and on my road trip, I visited a number of beautiful national parks, such as Lassen, Yosemite, and King's Canyon.

I had a really great time, and all of this thanks to this one picture that I took on a rainy afternoon in New Haven."

Your success story

Do you want to take a trip to a conference of your choosing? Then send us your impressive results and participate in the Micrograph Award to not miss your chance of winning. Find out all the details here.

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