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PHENOmenon, revolutionising user experience using groundbreaking optics


Advanced optics for the next generation of LED lighting, curved and flexible displays, transport infotainment, banknotes or solar cells.

General context of the funding and H2020

PHENOmenon project is a research initiative funded with almost €4M by the European Commission and the Photonics21 Initiative through the Horizon2020 Research and Innovation Framework Programme (Grant Agreement 780278). Horizon2020 is the European Union (EU) instrument mobilising up to €80 billion to support the most promising research and innovation activities to contribute to economic growth and job creation and address societal challenges in the EU, as well as to attain the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Global objectives of the project and how to reach them

The next generation of efficient and flexible LED lighting solutions, curved and flexible displays, transport infotainment, banknotes or solar photovoltaic (PV) cells have something in common, advanced optics to master light. Nano-sized 3D structures can do the trick to develop new solutions, from holograms for anti-counterfeiting banknotes and virtual keypads to light management films for flexible or curved displays to be integrated everywhere, or microlens arrays for solar concentration.

PHENOmenon will use new materials, new simulation and design tools and laser technology to develop customised surface structures (at a very tiny scale) to fabricate high quality optics with enhanced properties like extreme light focusing, anti-fog properties, etc. with a writing speed of hundreds of cm2/min, thus boosting time and cost efficiency compared with existing technologies.

The manufacturing solution developed in PHENOmenon will contribute to improve competitiveness of European photonics industry at large, generating growth and jobs, by creating new market opportunities for laser manufacturers and by enabling the manufacturing of innovative products for quality monitoring, information storage and fibre communication, diagnosis and treatment, LED lighting, displays and electronic devices, solar cells or security systems. Based on current markets status, when adopted by manufacturing industry, PHENOmenon could generate up to 4,500 high-quality jobs and €1 billion turnover for EU companies.

Thanks to PHENOmenon project, other industries in Europe will have the technology to design and manufacture products with radically improved or new functionalities to respond to European Society needs, i.e. better healthcare, cost-efficient energy production, better transport vehicles and infrastructures.

PHENOmenon in citizens daily life

Highly efficient photovoltaic concentrators: advanced optics will enable additional capacity to capture energy from sunlight and transform it into green energy.

Improved LED and OLCD-based devices: better light distribution enable efficient lighting and high quality image. Lighting and displays everywhere. 

Holographic interaction: holographic projection to enable new ways of interacting with devices or vehicles. 

Holographic security features: features to be integrated in backnotes and other documents (ID documents, credit cards, brand  tags, etc.) making them practically impossible to counterfeit. 

Antifogging coating on lens: to be used in vehicle lights or cameras, solution will significantly improve safety and security.

Partners involved

PHENOmenon consortium comprises 12 entities from 6 EU countries. Focusing on the research, AIMEN (project coordinator, Spain), ICFO (Spain), CNRS (France) and IMT-A (France) will develop the new materials, simulation and design tools and laser manufacturing technology for on-demand production of advanced optics. EU companies Multiphoton Optics (Germany), FLUXIM (Switzerland) and CDA (Germany) will commercialise the manufacturing technology, optical calculation software and modelling solutions and provide manufacturing services to other companies, respectively.

Moreover, PHENOmenon relies on leading technology companies using the manufacturing solutions to create new products. THALES (France) will produce antifogging on-board cameras and improved PV concentrators for aerospace applications. FNMT (Spain) will integrate holographic features in banknotes and other documents. PSA (France) will create completely new car interiors using holographic control panels and curved/ flexible displays, as well as integrating antifogging coating in car lighting. FlexEnable (United Kingdom) will provide advanced concepts for low consumption LED. DesignLED (United Kingdom) will provide a innovative backlight unit for high quality imaging in curved/ flexible displays.

  • © Multiphoton Optics
  • 1. Highly efficient photovoltaic concentrators
  • 2.1 Improved LED and OLCD-based devices
  • 2.2 Improved LED and OLCD-based devices
  • 3. Holographic interaction
  • 4. Holographic security features
  • 5. Antifogging coating on lens