VCSELs and Optical Interconnects

Headed by Prof. Karl Joachim Ebeling from 1989 until March 2001, the group has a particularly strong research background in the field of vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers (VCSELs).

At present, our activities are focused on various optoelectronic devices, a new modulation format for optical data transmission, 3-D imaging, and optical sensing. More in particular, we are working on

  • novel VCSEL designs, in particular the monolithic integration of phototransistors for optically controlled current confinement,
  • spintronic VCSELs with high and tunable birefringence for future polarization modulation schemes,
  • a new time-of-flight-based method for depth imaging using VCSEL illumination,
  • as well as refractive index sensing with VCSEL-related resonant devices.

The VCSEL Group organized the 11th European VCSEL Day 2018 Workshop that was held in Ulm on April 12−13:

We love to identify new applications areas of VCSELs, e.g. in optical sensing and metrology, biophotonics, ...

If you like to discuss your ideas, please don't hesitate to contact us.

Links: Group members and publications


Rainer Michalzik
(apl. Prof., Dr.-Ing. habil.,
Dipl.-Ing. Electrical Engineering)
Ulm University
Institute of Functional Nanosystems
Albert-Einstein-Allee 45
89081 Ulm
Room: 45.2.234
Phone: +49 (0) 731 50-26048
Fax: +49 (0)731 50-26049

A great deal of our work is being performed in the excellently equipped cleanroom of Ulm University.


We enjoy a fruitful collaboration with Philips Photonics, which became TRUMPF Photonic Components on Apr. 1, 2019. The company emerged as "U-L-M photonics" from the VCSEL group in the year 2000 and is one of the world leaders in VCSEL fabrication.


We are an active member of the Photonics BW Association.


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