Internship | Nano Engineered Metasurfaces for Space Optical Communication Systems

In this project we will exploit nanoengineered metasurfaces to realize unconventional components enabling the development of novel concepts of optical telecommunication systems, which represent the future of extremely broadband communications.



Education type

university (wo)


Internship and graduation project

Hours a week

Fulltime – 40


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What will you be doing?

The European Space Agency has launched a program for the development of Optical Telecommunication systems. Such systems exploit light (wavelength: 0.85 - 10 μm - frequency: 30 - 353 THz) to transmit information, offering an extremely interesting alternative to the increasing scarce RF spectrum, with an unregulated, extremely broad band.
The TNO Optics and Space departments in Delft (where the project will take place) are heavily involved in this program. One of the technological challenges for the development of these systems is the optical channel multiplexing. In a wavelength multiplexing system, each optical beam contains a communication channel in which the information is modulated by an optical carrier, different for each channel. This can be achieved by means of dispersive elements (Bragg gratings, surface gratings). In these architectures, each optical beam arrives at a different angle on the dispersive multiplexer and by means of diffraction all beams are aligned at the output of the element. If, on one side, the wavelength dispersive characteristic of the grating is used to separate the channels, on the other side, it represents an unwanted effect within each channel.

Metasurfaces of plasmonic and or dielectric nano resonators have emerged in the last years as a new technological platform for the realization of unconventional optical components that can enable the realization of unprecedented instruments and sensors. These surfaces, consisting of arrays of nano resonators, allow controlling the properties of light (phase, polarization and amplitude) at nanoscale.

In this project, we want to investigate the use of nano-patterned metasurfaces with an engineered dispersion that can compensate the one of the gratings. During the project, you will learn more about Space Optical Communication technology; you will learn the theory of nanoengineered metasurfaces and you will be introduced to the design methodology and design tools for these structures. After this preparatory phase, you will work at the design of the required metasurface, based on given requirements. This will give you also the opportunity to learn the use of state-of-the-art electromagnetic CAD tools.

What do we require of you?

  • A very good background in Electromagnetism, Optics and Physics;
  • A predisposition for team working, good spirit of initiative and a proactive attitude;
  • Very good knowledge of spoken and written English.

What can you expect of your work situation?

The internship will be performed at TNO Delft, Stieltjesweg, in the Optics Department, in cooperation with the Nano Instrumentation Department. The student will have a daily supervisor and will work in a stimulating environment, interacting with other internship students and PhD students, and also with TNO staff members.

What can TNO offer you?

You want to work on the precursor of your career; a work placement gives you an opportunity to take a good look at your prospective future employer. TNO goes a step further. It’s not just looking that interests us; you and your knowledge are essential to our innovation. That’s why we attach a great deal of value to your personal and professional development. You will, of course, be properly supervised during your work placement and be given the scope for you to get the best out of yourself. Naturally, we provide suitable work placement compensation.

Has this vacancy sparked your interest?

Then please feel free to apply on this vacancy! For further questions don’t hesitate to contact us.

Contact: Giampiero Gerini
Phone number: +31 (0)88-86 64188

Note that applications via email and third party applications are not taken into consideration.


Apply now



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