Logo LastStep white, European Project

Facilities and Tools

France, Grenoble


CEA-LETI (Laboratory for Electronics and Information Technology) belongs to CEA Tech, the French Atomic Energy Commission. Research contracts with industry account for 75% of Leti’s annual income, where collaborations target increased competitiveness through technological innovation and transfer of technical know-how. As a major player in the MINATEC Micro-Nano technologies innovation center, CEA Leti benefits from 8000 m2 clean rooms, with equipment worth some 160 million euros. It is currently employing 1600 people, among whom 250 Ph.D. students and post-Ph.Ds. With a strong patent portfolio (1,880), Leti filled 200 patents and 700 publications last year. The laboratory is structured into six departments, with a specific department operating 24/7 the technological facilities of the silicon technology platform, and five program-oriented departments covering the fields of Microelectronics, Microsystems, Optics and photonics, System design, and Technologies for bio and health. CEA-Leti was a pioneer in exploring Silicon photonics, and has developed the technology for more than 10 years. The group is collaborating with several industrial partners on silicon photonics such as STMicroelectronics.

CEA-LETI (Laboratory for Electronics and Information Technology) belongs to CEA Tech, the French Atomic Energy Commission

The CEA-IRIG (Institute for Nanosciences and Cryogenics, former DRFMC) is also located at Grenoble and belongs to the CEA Fundamental Research Division (DRF). SINAPS, the SIlicon NAnoelectronics Photonics and Structures team, is dedicated to investigate the new physical phenomena appearing when silicon and group-IV based semiconductors are downscaled to the nanometer. As  SiNaPS research ranges from material growth and nanofabrication to physical study of nanostructure structural, electronic and optical properties.

CEA is located in Grenoble where it benefits from 11000 m2 state-of- the-art clean rooms including pilot lines dedicates to 200 mm IC, 300 mm IC and 200 mm MEMS fabrication, with equipment worth some 200 M€ (40 M€ are invested each year to maintain the equipment park).

Germany, Jülich


200/300mm processing capabilities like CVD cluster tool for the epitaxy of Si-Ge-Sn, ALD of oxides/nitrides and AVD of metallic films as well as 200/300mm tools for ion implantation, RTA and wafer cleaning. The new opened Helmholtz Nano-Facility Centre cleanroom at FZ-JUELICH offers multiple techniques suitable for device manufacturing on the nanometer scale, such as e-beam lithography, dry etching and various deposition techniques for insulating and metallic films, AFM, STM, SEM, TEM, XRD, RBS and Atome Probe Tomography (APT). The temperature dependent light emission is analysed using photo and electroluminescence setups.

The high quality work of the group was recognized by different prizes at International Conference as well as many invited talk.

Juelich benefits from the Helmholtz Nano Facility (HNF) a state-of -the art 1000 m2 clean-room  including dedicated 200 mm and 300 mm wafers epitaxy and processing. The HNF works according to the norms VDI DIN 2083 and DIN EN ISO 14644.

Laststep: European collaboration in photonics
France, Paris

Université Paris Saclay

UPSaclay host the largest French academic technological platform with about 2800 m2 of clean room. This clean room is fully equipped to provide technological support to LastStep, that include nanophotonics, nanoelectronics, material growth, microsystems and bio applications. The laboratory is as well fully equipped to perform electro-optical spectroscopy of bulk and integrated photonic systems. UPSaclay has advanced material characterization tools like FEI-STEM. The laboratory has as well the full resources to perform electro-optical characterizations of the devices fabricated within LastStep.

Paris Saclay host the largest French academic technological platform with about 2800 m2 of clean room
France, Grenoble


eLichens has a full solution to produce sensors. This solution includes process and subcontractors to be able to produce several 100k of units per years. Once produced, sensors are all tested and calibrated in eLichens’ facilities. eLichens has therefore equipment, software, process to perform these tasks, track production and ensure quality of products.

Regarding artificial intelligence program, eLichens has its own air quality stations and related software to record and track the data in real time. This platform can be seen here: map.elichens.com.

eLichens designed a measuring bench to characterize the optical and electrical components of the sensors (Figure on the left). It is composed among others of a mechanical chopper (Thorlabs MC200B), a high performance DAQ hardware and a LabVIEW interface. Calibration and validation of the gas sensors are carried out in climatic chambers in housings specially designed to ensure precise air volume and flow. eLichens now has 5 climatic chambers enabling it to calibrate nearly 7000 sensors per week.

eLichens was lately selected for the French Tech 2030 program. 

Laststep: European collaboration in photonics
Spain, Valencia

VLC Photonics

VLC Photonics was born in 2011 as a spin-off company from the Telecommunications and Multimedia Applications Institute (iTEAM) located at the Universitat Politecnica de Valencia (Spain), where its founders worked as researchers on optical communication systems and photonic integrated circuits for more than 20 years.

Nowadays, VLC Photonics is a world pioneer on the fabless business model, offering independent pure-play services, and collaborating with a global network of foundries, packagers and providers. The company serves customers in many markets, from communications, to sensing, quantum optics, biophotonics, instrumentation, etc, and has worked with several Fortune 500 and equivalent corporations, as well as emerging start-ups and world-recognized researchers. Actually the company is part of Hitachi High-Tech group since 2020.

Aiming to be a leading pure-play photonic design and test house, skilled in the leading material platforms under a fabless business model. The company values expertise and customer orientation to fulfill the most defying challenges in photonic integration and provide trustworthy and professional solutions that can scale from R&D to volume production.

VLC Photonics aims at remaining a fundamental global actor of the complex and evolving photonic integration ecosystem, contributing to the development of synergies among different international players, and to the expansion of photonic integration technologies and the growth of their markets.

France, Rennes


Diafir develops, manufactures and sells diagnostic system for medical and food applications. Diafir SPID platform uses patented infrared sensors and proprietary decision algorithms for spectra analysis.

It has a biology lab, sensor assembly and testing facility as well as machine Learning expertise.

Laststep: European collaboration in photonics