14 February 2022
H2020 Project ELENA
The ELENA project promises to benefit the entire photonics sector by developing the first European lithium niobate on insulator (LNOI)-based platform for photonic integrated circuits (PICs) and establ...
Led by CSEM, the PHABULOuS consortium is unifying Europe’s leading Companies and Research & Technology Organizations (RTOs), through the creation of self-sustainable pilot line for the design and manufacturing of free-form micro-optical solutions. These solutions will be integrated into high added-value devices, spanning from micro displays for augmented reality, to innovative systems for professional, automotive, and transportation lighting to optical effects for luxury. The PHABULOuS consortium will synchronize its efforts to translate urgent and high-impact industrial needs into industrially relevant predictive software packages, manufacturing tools and processes, characterization methods for quality inspection and integration schemes, all necessary for the successful demonstration of this technology in pre-commercial production runs.
There is an urgent need to provide miniaturized optical components due to the exponential growth of the micro-optics market over the last decade. This is in tandem with an increasing need for free-form micro-optics that can address the challenges set by the photonics market over the next five to ten years. Industrial demand for free-form micro-optics is a current market reality, however, the high access barriers to pre-commercial production capabilities in Europe prevent companies, especially SMEs, from commercially exploiting this technology.
Among the objectives of the project, are:
Dr. Rolando Ferrini, the project’s coordinator from CSEM, is extremely satisfied by the whole project concept and stated: “PHABULOuS will open a new era for free-form micro-optics enabling the industrial manufacturing of innovative micro-optical components for a wealth of different photonics applications, thus becoming the unique entry point in Europe for SMEs and LMEs aiming to pilot and produce devices integrating free-form micro-structures.”
Dr. Reinhard Voelkel, CEO of SUSS MicroOptics and a partner of the consortium also stated that: “We are very honored to participate in the Free-Form Photonics EU-Pilot Line Project PHABULOuS and to accommodate the Wafer-Level Optics (WLO) part in our new cleanroom wafer factory in Neuchatel, Switzerland. He notes that “PHABULOuS is a strong consortium and we are very confident that the new Pilot Lines will enforce the competitiveness of European Photonics companies and manufacturing industry in Europe.”
One of the six industrial use case partners is the automotive supplier HELLA . Dr. Daniela Karthaus, responsible for new optical technologies at HELLA, said: "As a leading manufacturer of automotive lighting systems we strive for developing the latest innovations in order to provide the best solutions to our customers. Within the PHABULOuS project, HELLA looks at highly innovative micro-optics for miniaturizing the existing automotive lighting solutions to enable new design possibilities as well as the reduction of construction space and weight to contribute to an efficiency increase for electric vehicles and autonomous driving.”
This project has received funding in the order of 15 Mio. EUR from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under the Grant Agreement nº 871710, in Public Private Partnership with Photonics 21 .