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Launch of a COST European project


About the European COST action OPERA

The European network COST OPERA "European Network for Innovative and Advanced Epitaxy" which was funded by Europe, and started in November 2021, aims to gather 36 countries around the development of innovative materials by epitaxy, and allow Europe to place itself at the highest world level of innovation in this research area, with numerous applications in the fields of photonics, energy, lighting, electronics, computing and quantum technologies, environmental sensors or even medicine.

Working principle of the European COST action OPERA

This new network was set up with epitaxy experts, specialists of different classes of materials: semiconductors, oxides, metals, or 2D materials, in order to promote exchanges between traditionally separate scientific communities, including academic and industrial partners, the objective being to develop innovative materials and hybrid structures carrying new properties and functionalities. OPERA aims in particular to strengthen the involvement and mobility of young researchers (European or from countries at the gates of Europe), doctoral students or post-docs, with a confirmed desire to involve young female researchers in this traditionally very masculine research area. This project represents a total budget of 500 k € for a period of 4 years.

Genesis of the European COST action OPERA

The idea of setting up the COST OPERA project "European Network for Innovative and Advanced Epitaxy", was born during the international plenary conference of the GDR CNRS PULSE (Ultimate Processes in semiconductor epitaxy), at the Institut Pascal (Clermont- Ferrand). At the end of this conference, a team of eight French colleagues was formed (see illustration), who for over a year worked on drafting and submitting the project. This team, tightened around N. Gogneau (DR CNRS at C2N, chair/coordinator), C. Cornet (Prof. INSA Rennes at the Institut FOTON, representative of France on the management committee) and Y. André (MCF- HDR at the Institut Pascal- Université de Clermont-Ferrand) has succeeded in federating 32 countries belonging to the European COST network (including 17 target countries); 2 associated countries (Russia and Belarus); and 2 international partners (Canada (McMaster) and New Zealand).

The European COST action OPERA at Institut FOTON, INSA-Rennes

This project, co-elaborated by the OHM team (Optoelectronics, Heteroepitaxy and Materials) from the Institut FOTON at INSA Rennes, reinforces the international visibility of the team, which has been working for more than 30 years on the development of semiconductor materials, devices and nanostructures by epitaxy through numerous national and international projects. In particular, it will enable it to support its flagship activities around the production of solar hydrogen, photovoltaics, laser sources, and integrated photonics. The European COST action OPERA network will also allow the development of international collaborations around the new epitaxial growth chamber (1.25 M€) which will be purchased in 2022 as part of the EQUIPEX NanoFutur project. Finally, the network will support the major national / regional / European programs for which the team has been called upon (CPER, PEPR, H2020, Horizon Europe).