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IHP Insight

Despoina Petousi, M.Eng.



Technology Department

What influenced your choice of studies the most? Where did you study?

My parents are both passionate mathematicians, who brought me up to natural sciences very early. Therefore, my excitement for science already grew in my childhood. During school days there were many chances to deal with it as well - I was fascinated especially by experiments with electricity. It was evident to me that I want to study something related to this field. I was looking for a versatile special field which I found in "Electrical and Computer Engineering" at Aristotle University in Thessaloniki. I was particularly attracted by the various job opportunities - both in industry and research institutes.


Why did you choose IHP?

After finishing my studies in my home country Greece I wanted to expand my professional knowledge as well as collecting intercultural experience by going abroad. After a short internet research I found everything I was looking for at IHP - an international working environment and an institute with excellent equipment and experienced co-workers. I applied for a job, was successful and was not disappointed! At the beginning, all meetings were held in English because I only had little knowledge of German. But, the IHP supported me right at the start to learn German and by now I discuss with my colleagues in German.


How would you describe a typical working day at IHP?

What are the most interesting aspects of your work at IHP? I am mainly concerned with with silicon-photonic modulators, i.e. I develop models of optical modulators, I perform characterization of such devices on a measurement setup, and I optimize device performance accordingly. Once I understand the physics of a modulator structure, I design several devices that are then fabricated using IHP photonic BiCMOS technology. After fabrication, the devices are characterized electro-optically to obtain feedback for future improvements of the design. I feel a valuable and prolific part of the entire development process because I can design my own chips. In addition to the work at IHP I am linked to TU Berlin via the Joint Lab Silicon Photonics. I do my PhD under supervision of Prof. Petermann, I attend PhD seminars, and I work at the laboratories of TU Berlin.

What are your next career goals?

First, I want to finish successfully my PhD at IHP. Afterwards, I can imagine to do further research as a post-doc in my special field silicon photonics. I still do not know where I want to go - maybe to a research institute or university in Europe or the USA or I'll stay at IHP?

The building and the infrastructure of the IHP were funded by the European Regional Development Fund of the European Union, funds of the Federal Government and also funds of the Federal State of Brandenburg.