Description: photographProfessor Hon ki TSANG
Department of Electronic Engineering

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


Telephone: +852 39438276




Hon Ki Tsang is a Professor at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Professor Tsang served as Chairman of the Department of Electronic Engineering from 2010-2016. He is currently Director of the Center for Advanced Research in Photonics.

He served as Editor-in-Chief of the IEEE Photonics Society  Newsletter  between 2012-2014 and he is the current Editor-in-Chief of IEEE Journal of Quantum Electronics. He also serves on the steering or technical program committees of various conferences related to integrated photonics, silicon photonics and optical communications.

He is a Fellow of the Optical Society (OSA) for “contributions to nonlinear silicon photonics, sub-wavelength silicon waveguide gratings, and hybrid integration of graphene on silicon waveguides.”

In 2017 he received the Vice Chancellor’s award of Outstanding Fellow of Faculty of Engineering.

Description: photograph

Research Interests and Research Grants

Hon Tsang obtained a PhD from Cambridge University on III-V semiconductor waveguides devices and their nonlinear optical properties in 1991.  He joined CUHK in 1993 and shortly thereafter branched out into the then  emerging field of silicon photonics. From its small beginnings attracting interest from only a handful of groups, silicon photonics has grown in the last 20 years to become a mainstream technology for high speed energy efficient communications.  It is emerging as a key technology for optical interconnects in data centers, with large volume silicon photonic products being manufactured by companies such as Intel. 

Despite having matured to commercial products, silicon photonics still 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, low cost lab-on-a-chip gas sensors and integrated biosensors, and integrated quantum photonic devices for quantum computing and quantum communications. 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.  As an R&D director in Bookham Technology plc, in the early 2000s (now Oclaro), 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 during the reconfiguration of Wavelength Division Multiplexed (WDM) networks.

Hon 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 are 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 current research topics include:

·       Subwavelength gratings for  coupling, switching and filtering modes and wavelengths

·       Silicon photonics for energy efficient terabit/s coherent communications

·       Integrated quantum photonics for quantum communications and quantum computing

·       Hybrid integration of  2D materials (such as graphene, MoS2, WS2 WSe2 , hBN etc) for photodetectors and nonlinear photonics

·       Mid-infrared sub-wavelength waveguide devices

·       Disordered hyperuniform photonics for advanced photonic filters and polarizers 

·       Integrated photonics for 3D imaging and optical coherence tomography

Ongoing Research Grants


Funding Agency




Hybrid integrated photodetectors for silicon nitride waveguide based on-chip optical interconnects using 2-D materials and Van der Waals heterostructures





Integrated Spectrometer for Spectral Domain Optical Coherence Tomography





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 of the above RGC GRF grants are available from RGC GRF online search


Undergraduate Research Internships, PhD Student Openings

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$16660 to $17215 per month (effective from August 2018) are available.  Due to the start of new research projects in 2018-21, I have research grants  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  (note deadline of application to RGC is in December of each year).



Hon Tsang has co-authored over 160 journal papers and over 200 conference papers.  Some recent publications are listed on Researchgate

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