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Looking for partners for the upcoming EIC Pathfinder Challenge and Transition calls (fall 2024) on devices and/or processes using thin films and 3D nano-imprinted structures made of metal oxides.


Profile Type
Research & Development Request
POD Reference
Term of Validity
20 May 2024 - 20 May 2025
Company's Country
Type of partnership
Research and development cooperation agreement
Targeted Countries
All countries
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General information

Short Summary
A French startup company expert in nano-fabrication of 3D structures based on dielectric materials is building new partnerships to apply for grants within the next EU calls EIC Pathfinder Challenge and Transition. The company is looking for academic and private companies at work on (but not limited to) nano-photonics (laser optics, bio-photonics, imaging, AR/VR, PV, spectroscopy, photonic metasurfaces/metaoptics, photonic integrated circuits).
Full Description
The leading French company SOLNIL is a spin-off of Aix-Marseille University created in 2020 during the FET OPEN NARCISO project (concluded on 31st Jan. 2023). As such, SOLNIL is entitled to apply to the EIC Transition project in 2024. Beyond the Transition call, its team is also keen to apply also to the EIC Pathfinder Challenge call.

SOLNIL’s main activity is nano-fabrication of photonic devices (from near-UV up to LWIR frequency) via nano-imprint lithography of metal oxides (MOx-NIL) thus producing 3D patterns on flat and curved substrates. These hard dielectric materials are mechanically robust and are adapted to handle high power light sources. Beyond applications in photonics, these materials and 3D structures are also chemically stable and have been efficiently exploited for biochips (e.g. DNA sequencing with flow-cells) leveraging the tuneable chemical affinity of the MOx materials.

SOLNIL has a strong expertise in sol-gel processing and nano-imprint lithography as well as access to a chemistry laboratory and clean-room processing (e-beam lithography, RIE and plasma etching, SEM, AFM, profilometry, optical microscopy and spectroscopy, ellipsometry, porosimetry, etc.). MOx-NIL technology from SOLNIL has proven sustainability advantages compared with conventional nano-patterning methods. Its stands as a viable and sustainable solution for high-quality nano-photonic devices and bio-chips.

The project’s ambition is to mature R&D and establish an EU-based nano-foundry for the production of photonic devices and/or bio-chips exploiting MOx-NIL. As such, SOLNIL is seeking to form consortia to develop original devices and/or processes using thin films and 3D nano-imprinted structures made of metal oxides. Depending on the target application, the company needs the presence of partners (corporate or academic) at work on simulations (e.g. inverse design, FDTD, machine learning), electronic devices (contact deposition, readout software, desing), laser optics (e.g. laser absorption, LIDT).
Advantages and Innovations
MOx-NIL technology is an original process developed in the last 6 years within the FET OPEN NARCISO and was selected by the European “EIC Sustainability Survey: Responsible Electronics” in 2023. Through the analysis performed during the Responsible Electronics Sustainability Exploratory Workshop in 2023, it highlights the relevance of MOx-NIL in the context of the EU Green Deal, by offering a nano-fabrication method that avoids toxic chemicals and fluorinated gases, and also with the EU Chips Act (aiming at the creation of a nano-foundry in Europe), the development of European strategic autonomy for nanofabrication, the EU Circular Economy Action Plan (ensuring less waste), and the European Critical Raw Materials Act, limiting the use of raw materials to the essential.
MOx-NIL can be used to produce dielectric, 3D structures with high resolution (~10 nm) and large vertical aspect ratio (e.g. >6 for SiO2). The method is actually available on 100 mm wafers with a semi-automatic machine. MOx-NIL is a sustainable patterning method overcoming the main issues of conventional nanofabrication.
Stage of Development
Lab tested
Sustainable Development Goals
Goal 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
IPR description
To build its consortium, the French company is looking for such partners :
-Laser and laser components manufacturers (e.g. laser crystals, laser optics, lenses, polariser, waveplates, non-linear crystals);
-High power lasers manufacturers and users (e.g. laser cutting, welding, peening, additive manufacturers, laser diffusers, beam shapers);
-Laser components metrology providers (e.g. LIDT, absorption, scattering);
-Modelling and simulations of photonic devices and metaoptics (inverse design, machine learning, FDTD);
-AR/VR devices manufacturers and integrators (e.g. diffractive waveguides, glass manufacturers);
-Automotive devices manufacturers and integrators (e.g. DOE, LIDAR, displays)
-PV manufacturers (e.g. thin-film PV);
-Light detectors manufacturers and integrators (e.g. C-MOS, CCD, Photodiodes and micro-bolometers for NIR-LWIR imaging);

Partner Sought

Expected Role of a Partner
Research or industrial Partner
Type and Size of Partner
R&D InstitutionSME 11-49SME <=10Big companySME 50 - 249
Type of partnership
Research and development cooperation agreement

Call details

Framework program
Horizon Europe
Call title and identifier
EIC Pathfinder / EIC transition Calls 2024
Anticipated project budget
from 2.5 to 4M€
Coordinator required
Deadline for EoI
Deadline of the call


Technology keywords
02007012 - Optical Materials02002002 - Coatings01002001 - Micro and Nanotechnology related to Electronics and Microelectronics02007024 - Nanomaterials
Market keywords
06003002 - Photovoltaics03001008 - Display panels03005 - Laser Related08001007 - Coatings and adhesives manufactures
Targeted countries
All countries