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Professor TSANG Hon Ki
Department of Electronic Engineering

BA(Cambridge), Ph.D.(Cambridge), C.Eng., MIET, MHKIE, SMIEEE


Telephone: +852 39438276

Hon Tsang studied Engineering at Cambridge University, where he obtained the B.A. (Hons) and Ph.D. degrees. He is currently a Professor at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. He served as Chairman of the Department of Electronic Engineering from 2010-2016. He is currently Director of the Center for Advanced Research in Photonics.

Hon Tsang has also served as chairman of the Hong Kong Chapter of IEEE Lasers and Electrooptics Society (now IEEE Photonics Society) and he was Editor-in-Chief of the IEEE Photonics Society  Newsletter  between 2012-1014.  He is the current Editor-in-Chief of IEEE Journal of Quantum Electronics and he serves on technical program committees of various conferences related to integrated photonics, silicon photonics and optical communications.

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Research Interests and Research Grants

After starting out in the field of photonics by designing, fabricating and testing III-V semiconductor waveguides devices and studying their nonlinear optical properties during the early part of his academic career, Hon Tsang branched out to the then  emerging field of silicon photonics and has focused his research almost entirely on silicon photonics in the last 17 years.  From its small beginnings attracting interest from only a handful of groups, silicon photonics has grown in the last 20 years to become now a mainstream technology for high speed energy efficient communications for use in data centers with products being developed by large companies such as Intel.  Silicon photonics remains a fruitful topic for research because of the many important potential future applications such as energy efficient on-chip optical interconnects in high performance computers or low cost lab-on-a-chip gas and biosensor applications.  Hon Tsang has made fundamental contributions on the understanding of nonlinear properties of guided wave optics in semiconductors, having carried out some of the first studies of optical nonlinearities in silicon optical waveguides.  He worked as a director in Bookham Technology plc, in the early 2000s (now Oclaro), and he led the development team for the first silicon photonic integrated circuits to be deployed commercially in telecommunication networks.  Those early silicon photonic products enabled dynamic balancing of optical power levels in different wavelength bands during the reconfiguration of Wavelength Division Multiplexed (WDM) networks and was used in metro telecommunication networks.

In the early 2000s Tsang’s research on the inter-relationships between two photon absorption, free carrier absorption and nonlinear refraction, led to the experimental realization of high net gain optical amplifiers based on stimulated Raman scattering in silicon waveguides. These papers have received over 1000 Google scholar citations and is becoming increasingly relevant in the design of silicon nanophotonic integrated circuits because the tiny cross-sectional areas of these silicon waveguides enable nonlinear optical effects such as two photon absorption or self phase modulation to manifest at optical powers as low as a few milliwatts. Hon Tsang’s research group is focussed  on silicon photonics. The current research topics in his group include the design and fabrication of subwavelength gratings for applications in mode division multiplexed  high speed optical interconnects, the development of silicon photonic integrated circuits for energy efficient coherent optical modulators and receivers, integrated quantum technologies (including quantum communications, quantum metrology and quantum computing), integration of monolayer (or few layer) 2D materials (graphene/MoS2) for photonic devices,  generation of entangled photon pairs for quantum applications (quantum metrology, communications and computing), and mid-infrared sub-wavelength waveguide structures

Keywords: Silicon photonics; optical interconnects; silicon modulators, optical receivers, subwavelength gratings and hybrid silicon lasers; nanophotonics; Hybrid integration of 2D materials on silicon photonics; Ultrafast optical nonlinearities in semiconductors;mid-infrared silicon photonics; reliability of silicon photonics; hyperuniform disordered nanophotonics; plasmonic modulators.


Ongoing Research Grants


Funding Agency




Ultra-high Q Silicon Micro-resonators for Integrated Quantum Photonics





16-QAM Integrated Franz-Keldysh Electro-absorption Modulators for optical interconnects





Applications of Two-Dimensional Hyperuniform Disordered Photonic Structures





Key functional photonic elements for on-chip mode-multiplexed optical interconnects

NSFC/RGC Joint Research Scheme




Experimental Investigation of Thermal Characteristics of Silicon Waveguide based anti-Stokes Raman Resonators





Abstracts and details of the above and other RGC GRF grants may be obtained from RGC GRF online search


Undergraduate Research Internships, PhD Student Openings

Two undergraduate student research internships (with a small part-time stipend) are available immediately in summer 2017 to CUHK students with good problem solving skills and above average GPA. Please email Prof Tsang if you are interested in a summer research internship to gain some experience in photonics research.

In addition qualified candidates interested in pursuing a PhD degree in photonics or joining Prof Tsang’s group as a researcher are encouraged to apply. Financial support of PhD students via postgraduate studentship (PGS) of HK$16270 to $16790 per month (effective from August 2017) are available.  Due to the start of new research projects in 2016-18, I have funding to support new PhD students. (Please email if you have interest and relevant academic background/experience and are interested in applying).  Potential students may also consider applying for RGC PhD fellowship which offers a monthly tax-free stipend of HK$20,000 (roughly equivalent to US$2560) (note deadline of application to RGC is in December of each year).




Hon Tsang has co-authored about 350 papers in journals and conference proceedings. 

You may find my research profile on Researchgate

A partial list of recent journal and conference publications may be found by clicking  here.