Advanced Photonic Components program


As a growing fraction of the world adopts the internet as their primary vehicle for information, entertainment and social interaction, high-speed optical telecommunication equipment manufacturers face relentlessly increasing demands for data traffic. The Advanced Photonic Components (APC) program supports the development of photonic components that are at low- to mid-technology readiness levels and helps to de-risk new optical communication technologies being considered by the telecommunication industry.

As one of a few facilities in the world that can fabricate complex photonic chips at high yield, and as the only source in the world for indium phosphide-based quantum dot technology, the APC program leverages NRC's high-yield optical component design and fabrication capabilities to develop radically improved optical devices that are smaller, faster, more efficient, less power-hungry and more cost-effective. Research and development activities also include photonic integration, lasers, photodetectors and reliability as well as packaging and fabrication process development.


Collaborate with us

Collaborate with us on strategic research projects to help de-risk your innovative ideas, reduce your start-up costs and accelerate your commercial development timelines.

Collaboration opportunities

Canada is a global leader in photonic communication technology, with many of the world’s major telecommunications companies maintaining a presence in our country. The challenge now is for the Canadian photonics industry to capture and grow market share by ramping up its ability to develop, manufacture and deploy the needed optical components and systems.

NRC works with Canadian collaborators to design, validate and deliver the photonic components and component integration technologies that system integrators and service providers need in order to keep pace with the demand for network capacity. We continue to seek a range of partners looking for R&D collaboration, new product introduction and/or pre-commercial production fabrication services, focusing on companies that have the greatest impact on the Canadian industry.

Specific opportunities include having access to:

  • Photonic components for optical communications, to expand network capacity and reach;
  • Components targeting high data-density, short reach applications, to alleviate congestion in access networks and data centres; and
  • Photonic integration, to increase optical chip functionality and reduce size, power consumption and cost.
Collaborator benefits

In order to succeed, high-speed optical telecommunication equipment manufacturers must continually respond to increasing demands for data traffic. NRC will leverage our high-yield optical component design and fabrication capabilities to help Canada’s leading-edge photonic companies provide their customers with smaller, faster, highly integrated components, increasing their competitiveness by lowering the cost of data transportation.

NRC partners can access:

  • Rapid prototyping for III-V and silicon-based photonic components, decreasing time to market;
  • Highly repeatable and manufacturable solutions, enabling them to offer their clients a long-term competitive edge; and
  • The largest concentration of expertise and facilities in photonic devices, photonics materials and semiconductor device fabrication in Canada.

In addition, partners will benefit from reduced risk in the early stage of new photonic technology development, which will empower them to deploy innovative and competitive information and communications technology products in the global marketplace.

Technical and advisory services

NRC also offers a range of photonics-related research services and facilities on an individual, fee-for-service (FFS) basis.

NRC has an established track record of developing and commercializing optical communication technologies, having worked with dozens of photonics companies and key industry players. We are the only organization in Canada with a proven ability to support partners in bringing new photonic products from the concept stage, through materials and design development, to early commercialization.

Our services include:

Research facilities

The Advanced Photonic Components program brings industry partners together to explore new opportunities for business and technology deployments, opening the door to innovative discoveries that will pave the way for advanced optical communication and create new opportunities for revenue in the Canadian communications sector.

Our partners have access to national research and technology development facilities. The following facilities are available in NRC’s Ottawa region:

  • Epitaxial and Thin Film Growth: Semiconductor growth using molecular beam epitaxy (MBE), chemical beam epitaxy (CBE) and MOCVD; custom optical coating design and deposition; printed electronic materials.
  • Canadian Photonics Fabrication Centre (CPFC): Industry-qualified semiconductor device fabrication services, including research and development projects, prototyping, and pre-commercial production runs to rapidly move new products to market; both e-beam and full-wafer stepper lithography are available.
  • Photonic Devices Laboratory: Services and facilities for design, modeling, testing, assembly of optoelectronics and photonic components and modules, and their integration into systems.
  • Surface Analysis and Material Characterization: Chemical and physical analysis of surfaces, interfaces and thin films, using secondary ion mass spectroscopy (SIMS), X-ray diffraction (XRD), Auger, etc.; structural characterization using scanning (SEM) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM).

Contact us

We provide advanced photonic component engineering, testing and fabrication services, working with innovative Canadian companies to bring their new photonic technologies from the initial prototype stage through to pre-commercial production runs. If you’re interested in accessing our advanced scientific infrastructure or connecting with our experts, contact:

George Ross, Client Relationship Leader
Telephone: 613-949-3717
LinkedIn: George Ross

Targeted industries

Photonics, telecommunications, optical components.