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Research interests and affiliations

Research interests

Design, fabrication and characterization of optical micro and nano systems. Optical MicroElectro Mechanical Systems (OMEMS) are multidisciplinary by essence. Their optical, electrostatic, mechanical design is based on analytical studies and numerical simulations. The fabrication is based on micro and nano machining of silicon, using thin film layer deposition as well as dry (plasma) and wet etching. Nanofabrication of photonic crystals coupled with mobile MEMS devices, open the path to novel tunable nanophotonic devices. Applications of MEMS and NEMS are numerous: pressure sensors, accelerometers, inkjet printer heads, projection displays, astronomical telescopes (adaptive mirrors) as well as optical telecommunication and biology.

Expertise type(s) (NSERC subjects)
  • 1901 Biomedical technology
  • 2107 Modelling, simulation and finite element methods
  • 2505 Photonic devices and networks
  • 2518 Instrumentation and measurements
  • 2523 Semiconductor fabrication and packaging
  • 3110 Optics (see also photon devices 2505)
  • 3111 Lasers
  • 3112 Photonics
  • 3303 Surfaces, interfaces and thin films


Recent publications
Conference paper
Tormen, M., Peter, Y.-A., Niedermann, P., Hoogerwerf, A., & Stanley, R. (2023, August). Deformable MEMS grating for wide tunability [Paper]. International Conference on Optical MEMS and Their Applications, Oulu, Finlande.


Yves-Alain Peter received the M.Sc. degree in physics and the Dr.Sc. degree from the University of Neuchâtel, Switzerland, in 1994 and 2001, respectively. In 1995, he joined the Department of Medical Radiobiology as a Research Associate at the Paul Scherrer Institute, Switzerland. From 1995 to 2001, he was a Graduate Research Assistant with the Applied Optics Group, Institute of Microtechnology, University of Neuchâtel. From 2001 to 2003, he was a Post-Doctoral Researcher with the Microphotonics Group, Stanford University. From 2003 to 2004, he was a Research and Development Engineer and a Project Leader with the Swiss Center for Electronics and Microtechnology, Switzerland. In 2004, he joined Polytechnique Montréal, Canada, where he is now Professor of Engineering Physics. His current research interests include microphotonics and micro-opto-electro-mechanical systems.


Yves-Alain Peter, Dr. ès Sc., is Associate Professor in the department of Engineering Physics at École Polytechnique de Montréal since June 2004. He created the course PHS8311 Microsystems (2005).
He participated to the conception of the course PHS1901 Introduction to Engineering Physics (2005) and established new laboratories for the course PHS8310 Microfabrication (2006).

Supervision at Polytechnique


  • Post-doctoral fellowship (1)

    • Mirjalili, Seyed Mohammad.
  • Ph.D. (5)

    • Poveda Hospital, Salvador .
    • Bahgat, Ahmed.
    • Guertin, Régis.
    • Bianki, Marc-Antoine.
    • Lemieux-Leduc, Cédric.
  • Master (thesis) (1)

    • Lacasse, Thomas.


News about Yves-Alain Peter

NEWS | March 13, 2024
Research funding: banner year as Polytechnique receives grants and scholarships totalling close to $47 million | Read
BLOG | July 20, 2021
An “optical nose” to sniff out dairy farm GHG emission reductions | Read
NEWS | January 6, 2021
The CAN-SBX 2020-2021 Challenge: PolyOrbite’s experiments will take to the skies in a stratospheric balloon | Read
INNOVATIO | February 15, 2016
An Optical Nose for Analyzing Gas Mixtures | Read

Press review about Yves-Alain Peter

February 20, 2023, La Presse, Plus de 60 millions destinés aux ballons Yves-Alain Peter, professeur titulaire au Département de génie physique, relate les expériences menées à Polytechnique à l'aide de ballons stratosphériques.
February 15, 2023, Le Devoir , Une crise des ballons nuisible à la recherche scientifique Yves-Alain Peter, professeur titulaire au Département de génie physique, discute à propos de l'utilisation de ballons aux fins de la recherche scientifique.
January 21, 2022, La Terre de chez nous, Un nez optique dans les fermes laitières Des chercheurs de Polytechnique Montréal, notamment Yves-Alain Peter, professeur au Département de génie physique à Polytechnique Montréal, ont mis au point un « nez optique » qui permet de mesurer le méthane produit par un troupeau de vaches laitières pour aider les producteurs à réduire les émissions de GES. 
January 12, 2017, La Presse, Génie: dans l'antre de quatre laboratoires montréalais Jumeler des composantes optiques, mécaniques et électriques, le tout dans des dispositifs miniaturisés de la taille d'une puce électronique, c'est la spécialité d'Yves-Alain Peter, professeur titulaire au Département de génie physique de Polytechnique Montréal.