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Innovative manufacturing of opto-electrical parts (RIA)

Proposals need to present a variety of new processes applicable to the production of opto-electrical components, for instance material handling, material strain engineering, patterning, material deposition, assembly, joining and bonding. Furthermore, quality needs to be ensured by reliable sensors throughout the production line. The processes need to include a level of sustainability that allows the final products to be recycled and reintroduced into the value chain. Proposals need to cover all of the following areas:

  • New, flexible, and innovative process chains to handle complex designs that include opto-electrical functionalities;
  • Improved sensor equipment for quality control in the different processing steps as well as the final functionality of the component;
  • Methodologies for improving quality through high-precision automation using the sensor data, including non-destructive in-process evaluation of material and functional component properties;
  • Re-use and requalification of key components and precious materials within the process chain from products at their end of life.

Proposals are expected to include a variety of use-case demonstrations of typical opto-electrical components, in which the robustness of the processing, work piece handling, sensing and the automation approach can be demonstrated.

Activities should start at TRL 4 and achieve TRL 6 at the end of the project.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU between EUR 6 and 8 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Optoelectronics and opto-electrical components involve the interactions of photons and electrons. They are used in parts such as lasers, photodiodes, image sensors, optical amplifiers, modulators, solar cells, embedded optics and light-emitting diodes.

Previous research led to rapid developments and new applications in optoelectronics and photonics. However, new processes need to be introduced into production systems. When going into the scale-up phase, many processes need to be adjusted to fit the production of complex, often free-form components. The adjustments include both component specific changes as well as standard process steps. Due to the need to produce large varieties of parts in small batches, process adjustments have to be both rapid and accurate.

The equipment for testing, failure analysis and control equipment needs to follow a fast pace of technical advancement, and cover a range of sensors, such as electrical, optical, magnetic and thermal sensors.

  • 15% yield improvement because of the introduction of new sensor equipment, related metrology and automatic non-destructive control;
  • 15% time reduction for reconfiguration of key process tools in a production line due to change of type of component;
  • A tangible part (> 10%) of the production cost of the parts should originate from recycled products and materials.

Relevant indicators and metrics, with baseline values, should be clearly stated in the proposal.