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  • By: Graphene Flagship
  • Graphene Flagship
  • Publishing date: 26 June 2024
  • By: Graphene Flagship
  • Graphene Flagship
  • Publishing date: 26 June 2024

2D-EPL: Creating an ecosystem for 2DM integration 

The 2D Experimental Pilot Line (2D-EPL), now in its fourth and final year, is a €20 million project launched to address the challenges of upscaling 2D material production processes for the semiconductor industry. The project helps create a European ecosystem for the integration of 2D materials in applications like sensors, electronics and photonics.  

At this stage, the project is mostly on track, having achieved some important checkpoints in creating new processes and modules for the generic integration flow. In parallel, the 2D-EPL has been working to enable new processing tools.  


How we work 

The project is constructed around two pillars. In the first pillar, we started prototyping from day one. The 2D-EPL’s multi-project wafer (MPW) runs have been providing academic groups, start-ups and other companies the opportunity to test novel ideas for 2D material devices on a larger scale at relatively low costs. This is a key step toward bringing products to the market. 

The second pillar focuses on process enablement. Within that scope, we have built two new tools for the fabrication of 2D materials. The 200/300 mm compatible MOCVD reactor by Aixtron is allowing the 2D-EPL to advance its work on the deposition of transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDCs) on 300 mm sapphire wafers. In parallel we also now have an automated transfer tool for the de-bonding of the 2D layer from the growth substrate to a rigid carrier from SUSS MicroTec.  

Both of these tools have been installed in the imec cleanroom. The availability of these unique tools allow us to take the next step forward in the set-up of mature modules for 2D-material growth and layer transfer: both are essential modules in establishing pilot-line process capability. 


Looking ahead 

“In this last year of the project, it’s really our ambition to go in a full sequence through using the new tooling from growth to transfer and use the lessons we have learned thus far on the integration flow,” says Inge Asselberghs, director of the 2D Experimental Pilot Line. “We are also looking forward to seeing the final outcomes of the MPW runs and how we can build on this project’s foundation in the future.” 

Inge Asselberghs

2D-EPL Director Inge Asselberghs prepares to speak at Graphene Week

Aixtron MOCVD, imec cleanroom

The Aixtron MOCVD reactor installed in the imec cleanroom. Credit: Aixtron 

Annual Report 2023

Explore our full annual report with a welcome address from the new director, feature articles, project bios and highlights, and an in depth dive into our 2D-EPL project complete with work packages, STO statement and more. 

Author bio

Graphene Flagship
Graphene Flagship

Bringing together 118 academic and industrial partners in 12 research and innovation projects and 1 coordination and support project, the Graphene Flagship initiative will continue to advance Europe’s strategic autonomy in technologies that rely on graphene and other 2D materials. The initiative, which builds on the previous 10-years of the Graphene Flagship, is funded by the European Commission’s Horizon Europe research and innovation programme. The 2D-Experimental Pilot Line, addressing the challenges of upscaling 2D material production processes for the semiconductor industry, is another key component of the Graphene Flagship eco-system.