Imec Receives €2.5 Million Grant from ERC to Develop Ultra-bright Thin-film Light Sources and Lasers

Belgium research institute Imec announced that the European Research Council has awarded a EUR 2.5 million (US$ 2.8 million) grant to Paul Heremans, Fellow and Director Large Area Eletronics at imec for a five-year project to develop ultra-bright thin-film light sources and lasers.


Imec noted that thin-film light sources, featured with flexible manufacturing process, can be made to meet different requirements of varied applications. They can also be processed directly to different substrates such as glass, print boards and foils – both individually and in massive arrays.

The propose of the project is to break through the barriers that limit the light intensity of thin-film light sources as currently the light intensity of them is too low. The research project also aims to develop an electrically pumped laser based on the breakthrough for applications including optical interconnects, augmented reality (AR) displays and LiDAR sensors.

Heremans said, “If our efforts to increase the light intensity of flexible thin-film light sources succeed, we can look forward to a wealth of promising applications in numerous domains such as bright outdoor displays, augmented reality glasses, LiDAR sensors for example for autonomous cars, integrated spectrometry for disease detection, ultrafast optical data transfers in chips or datacenters, and so on. And all those with a lot less constraints when it comes to shapes, materials and budget.”

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