Title: Dr.

First Name: Jürgen

Last Name: Van Erps

Affiliation: Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Brussels Photonics Team (B-PHOT)



Research area and interests

Modeling of micro-optical systems for optical interconnects and bio-photonics applications, and their fabrication by means of rapid prototyping technologies, including Deep Proton Writing. Furthermore, I am involved in experimental work on nonlinear optics in integrated photonics.


Research Facilities


Fabrication facilities

· Deep Proton Writing: a cyclotron particle accelerator which we use to prototype plastic micro-optical and micro-mechanical components

Figure 2 Our CGR-560 cyclotron (left) and vacuum chamber for DPW irradiations (right)

· Ultraprecision diamond tooling (Moore Nanotech 350FG): 5-axis tooling lathe for freeform (micro-)optics fabrication and mould fabrication

Figure 3Ultraprecisiondiamond tooling of a cylindrical microlens array in PMMA by ruling (left) 
and of a Fresnel Zone Plate in chalcogenide glass by turning (right)

· Hot embossing (Jenoptik HEX04): Replication process to manufacture plastic micro-optical components in large volumes.

Figure 4 HEX04 hot embossing machine (left) and a 300mm hot embossed polymer wafer 
fabricated using that machine (right)

Measurement facilities

The instrumentation and metrology capabilities of B-PHOT form a comprehensive competence in optical metrology in general, and in quantitative optical measurements and measurement standards in particular. We have a clean room infrastructure equipped with a unique assortment of top-measurement instrumentation for the quantitative characterization of optical materials, surfaces and micro-photonic components. Here’s a short brief overview of the tools we have available:

· Optical non-contact profilometer

We provide a commercial non-contact optical profiler (WYKO NT-2000, Veeco) based on a Mirau interference microscope. The measurand is a contour plot containing the surface information of the sample under test. Software algorithms allow to determine different surface roughnesses, geometrical dimensions of elements (heights, widths, distances, ...) and systems, ... The data from the measurements can be used as input in specific design and modeling software tools.

· Transmission Mach-Zehnder interferometer

o Our Mach-Zehnder interferometer (MZ) was constructed at the Erlangen-Nürnberg University and is installed in a commercial Carl Zeiss Jena microscope, while fiber-optics is used for beam delivery. This interferometer allows to determine the focal length and array uniformity through plane wave illumination while the wave aberrations of refractive microlenses can be determined with a spherical wavefront illumination. Moreover we can use the interferometer to determine changes in the index of refraction by measuring relative phase shifts.

· Twyman-Green interferometer

o Our Twyman-Green interferometer, constructed at the Erlangen-Nürnberg University, allows to measure the deviations from a perfect sphere of a microlens surface. The evaluation is done with phase shifting interferometry by axially shifting the reference mirror with a piezo transducer. By using the Twyman-Green interferometer it is also possible to determine the radius of curvature R of a microlens. To do this, the test object has to be shifted axially from the basic position, where the light rays impinge perpendicularly onto the surface and the focal length of the condensor objective coincides with the center of the sphere under test, to the so-called cat's eye position, where the focus of the impinging spherical wave is at the vertex of the sphere.

· Atomic Force Microscope

o The Dimension 3100 (NanoScope IV SPM Control Station, Veeco) is a commercial Scanning Probe Microscope (SPM) and utilizes automated atomic force microscopy (AFM) and scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) techniques to measure surface characteristics for semiconductor wafers, lithography masks, magnetic media, CDs/DVDs, biomaterials, optics, and other samples up to 200 mm in diameter. Its laser spot alignment system and the ability to change scanning techniques without tools guarantee flexibility, ease of use, and high product throughput.

· Stylus contact profilometer

o This stylus profiler (Dektak 8, Veeco) performs contact stylus measurements of step heights, bows, planarities and roughnesses. Moreover this measurement method is insensitive to optical properties of the surface (e.g. transparency). Additionally the exclusive N-Lite low force sensor option offers stylus forces down to 0.03mg, for scratch-free measurement of soft materials. This true-measurement capability opens doors to materials traditionally difficult for stylus analysis, such as photoresists, polymers, and soft metals.

· Coordinate measurement machine (CMM)

o This accurate multisensor coordinate measurement machine developed by WerthMesstechnik GmbH (Giessen, Germany) has a useable working volume of 400 by 400 by 200 mm2 with a submicron base accuracy in the entire volume. The Werth UA400 is equipped with a 20x objective lens, a laser and a chromatic focus probe for ultra accurate height measurements, and a contact probe with very low probing force based on an optical fibre terminated by a glass sphere of 20 micron diameter. Special software developed by Werth based on the DMIS standard enables automated measurement cycles with scanning capabilities for all sensors to evaluate the dimensions and geometrical as well as dimensional tolerances on a wide variety of products including optics, micro-optics, MEMS devices, PCBs and micromoulds. This equipment is installed in a temperature controlled cleanroom environment.


· We have wide-ranging expertise and know-how in the modelling and design of photonic systems, where passive optical components (such as lenses, filters and beam splitters), optical sources (such as LEDs, lasers, and incandescent light sources), and detectors are combined. To model and design micro-optical components, modules and systems, we make use of a powerful computer cluster and a variety of professional software tools, including sequential and non-sequential ray-tracing software (Breault ASAP, Zemax, CODE V), Beam Propagation Methods and mode solvers (Lumerical MODE Solutions), Finite Difference Time Domain algorithms (Lumerical FDTD Solutions), multiphysics tools (COMSOL, ANSYS Fluent, Matlab) and tolerancing tools.


Contact Information

Mailing Address: TONA-FirW, Pleinlaan 2, B-1050 Brussel, Belgium

Phone: +32 2 477 48 71

Fax: +32 2 629 34 50

E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Skype address: jurgenvanerps





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