Light engineering and conversion (i-Lum)

Head of the group:

Christian Seassal
Cécile Jamois (adj.)
Alain Fave (adj.)

The new i-Lum team was born from the fusion of INL’s Nanophotonics and Photovoltaics teams, whose members share a common culture in nanophotonics and optoelectronics. The team aims to explore new concepts of light-matter interaction and light conversion, and to develop new demonstrator devices. The application challenges are vast: the optical processing of information, the conversion of solar energy, and optical detection for health and the environment.

The approaches developed by the i-Lum team

The areas of activity of the team are the design, realization and study of basic nanophotonic and optoelectronic bricks, operating from UV to mid-infrared. The team focuses more specifically on three key approaches:

  • Heterogeneous optoelectronics, which aims to intimately combine different media with specific and complementary optical or electro-optical properties. Emitting or light-absorbing materials, optically linear or non-linear, are implemented in the most appropriate forms.
  • Control of light-matter interaction using new photonic structure designs. Among the new concepts explored, we can cite in particular broken symmetry in periodic structures, as well as concepts from the field of topological matter.
  • Taking into account the application vision and the constraints related to the integration of basic building blocks into systems. This “global vision” requires very specific developments (eg the development of multi-physics simulation to take into account actual operating conditions).

The goals of the i-Lum team

  • Design and realize “all-optical” and agile photonic circuits based on the heterogeneous integration of 2D materials and functional oxides with photonic and metasurface crystals.
    Main associated project-groups: Hybrid Integration of Materials for ONL on Chip, Medium Infrared, Metasurfaces and Tuneable Materials, Integrated Photonics: Concepts and Technologies, Photonic Engineering
  • Develop technological concepts and bricks for the efficient conversion of solar energy: development of photovoltaic cells with high yields and integrated into their environment.
    Main groups-related projects: Photovoltaic, Incoherent Light Management, Hybrid Perovskites, Thermal, Color
  • Develop molecular detection concepts and devices for medical diagnosis and environmental analysis: explore original concepts in photonic engineering, and implement them for the realization of detection systems.
    Main associated project-groups: Sensors and Biophotonics, Infrared Medium, Photonic Engineering
  • Exploring new light-matter interaction regimes: control of photons and polaritons “on demand”. This theme is based on the manipulation of Bloch modes of periodic structures interacting with free space (“2.5D” structures), but in a broader and generalized way.
    Main associated project-groups: Hybrid Perovskites, Photonic Engineering


Trapping nanoparticles with slow Bloch mode cavity

Perovskite-oxide based hyperbolic metamaterials

Growth of GaAs/AlGaAs nanowires for tandem solar cells on silicon

Two new INL patents on photonic sensors for diagnostics

Programmable optical reflection: turning mirrors to absorbers