CEA (Atomic and Alternative Energies Commission) is a French Governmental Research Organization (15000 employees) devoted to both fundamental and industrial R&D. CEA-Leti is one of the major European research centres for applied electronics. More than 85% of its activity is dedicated to research finalized with external partners. Nearly 1,600 persons are serving innovation and the transfer of technology in key domains. As the preferred contact of the industrial world, CEA-Leti has sparked the creation of nearly thirty high-technology startups, including Soitec, world leader in silicon on insulator. CEA-Leti 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). Leti is one of the main groups behind Minatec, Europe’s main Centre of Excellence in Micro- and Nano-technology, that brings together more than 4,000 people from research, industry and education partners in Grenoble.

CEA-Leti is one of the public R&D centres providing prototyping services based on a Si photonics platform. In the last few years LETI has developed specific know-how in modelling, design and fabrication of passive and active photonic devices, making the lab one of the major European and worldwide recognized actors in the field of integrated photonics. The acquired expertise spans from control of the material properties and stacking, the control of the fabrication process-flow, the design of the device to the characterization of the final prototype and the comparison with the modelled behaviour.

The activity on “Sensors and optical architectures for gas detection” has been started at the Optronics department of CEA-Leti in 2008. In 2010 CEA-Leti and III-V Lab signed a joint R&D program to develop miniaturized mid-IR optical sensors based on QCL sources and photonics devices. Since then we have been involved in 4 EC and 3 national projects and we have developed skills in the modelling, design fabrication and test of photonic devices for NIR and MIR band, for MEMS/NEMS components and for multiphysics finite element modelling.

CEA-Leti/DOPT can now offer a unique platform for the fabrication of Mid-IR devices working in the 3 to 8 µm range and beyond suitable for the implementation of state of the art photonics components for chemical sensing. The technology is fully compatible with std. IC processing and it allows the implementation of IC/MEMS devices on the same substrate.

Sergio Nicoletti