EIC Pathfinder: "reaCtor"

Fibre-Based Plasmonic Micro Reactor for Flow Chemistry

The climate crisis, insufficient environmental protection, food and medicine shortages and military aggression are among the major challenges facing European society. Among other things, they require solutions to replace fossil fuels with sustainable energy sources and to significantly reduce energy consumption in virtually all sectors.

According to the EU Commission's Green Deal, the European continent is to become the first climate-neutral continent by 2050. The chemical industry is a major contributor to CO2 emissions, accounting for around 30 % of total global industrial energy consumption. Breakthrough new technologies must therefore be developed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the chemical industry.

In the reaCtor project, a novel light-driven chemical reactor is being developed that will significantly reduce the energy consumption of catalytic processes. For this purpose, the reaCtor consortium will produce a special light-conducting quartz glass fibre that has a hollow core. Using subtractive manufacturing, the fibre will be microfluidically connected to reservoirs so that chemicals can flow through the fibre core. The core is functionalised with nanomaterials that act as catalysts for the photochemical reactions. The intelligent fibre-based light management will enable high efficiency of the reactions. Due to its optical fibre-based design, this reactor will have enormous scaling potential.

The project is being carried out by a total of six partner institutions in Europe and coordinated by Dr Michael Steinke from the Laser Components and Fibres working group at the IQO.

Project duration: 01.04.2023-31.03.2027

Funding Body: European Comission (European Innovation Council)

Funding amount: 590 k€ (LUH) / 3.1 M€ (total)


  • Dr. Michael Steinke (Coordinator), Institute of Quantum Optics (IQO), Leibniz Universität Hannover, Germany
  • Prof. Dr. Ryszard Buczyński, Institute of Microelectronics and Photonics (ITME), Łukasiewicz Research Network, Poland
  • Dr. Airán Ródenas Seguí, University of LaLaguna, Tenerife
  • Dr. Wiebke Albrecht, Dr. Esther Alarcón Lladó, Prof. Dr. Erik Garnett, AMOLF, The Netherlands
  • Prof. Dr. Timothy Noël, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  • Dr. Susann Spindler, Eura AG, Germany