1. PF Contest - Win "Conquering the Physics GRE" book! Click Here to Enter
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Specialise in Photonics to get headstart in the business or stick to microelectronics

  1. Apr 7, 2009 #1
    I have to choose specialisation for my masters degree in applied physics next year. I want to work in the microelectronics industry so the specialisation called "Microelectroncs and Nanoelectronics" seems like a natural choice to study. However I want to know whether another specialisation called "Optics and Photonics" would be more appropriate for working in the microelectronics industry in the long run due to all this talk about the future of the electronics industry relying more heavily on photonic circuits. My question is whether the photonics and optoelectronics industry is mature enough to move from the experimental stage to a large scale commercial stage in the near future to replace microelectronic circuits. If so it would be more beneficial to me to jump straight into the business and do the photonics specialisation instead in order to get an competitive edge?
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 8, 2009 #2


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Re: Specialise in Photonics to get headstart in the business or stick to microelectro

    If you by "photonic circuits" mean things like on-chip interconnects etc the answer is that it will take a very long time before that is used commercially.
    I might be wrong but AFAIK it hasn't even been demonstrated in the lab yet; I know Intel&co are working on it but so far they haven't even succeeded in to making an Si-based on-chip laser that can operate without external pump.

    So the answer to your question is that if you want to work in the microelectronics industry you should study microelectronics.
  4. Apr 8, 2009 #3
    Re: Specialise in Photonics to get headstart in the business or stick to microelectro

    There are several alternative computing methods on the horizon. It's too early to predict which one will be replacing silicon. I think the smartest thing to do would be to go for microelectronics and nanoelectronics, and once you're working in the industry if your company starts working with New Computing Method X you'll probably receive the relevant training.
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Similar Threads - Specialise Photonics headstart Date
Engineering Are there any optics/photonics related online jobs? Jul 4, 2016
Acoustics vs. Optics/Photonics career prospects Jan 10, 2016
Guidance for research in Photonics Aug 27, 2015
Which area is best to specialise in? May 26, 2015