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Research projects

European projects

Single Nanometer Manufacturing for beyond CMOS devices (SNM)

European project, 2013-2017

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Collaboration project between the European Union, represented by the European Commision, and the Ilmenau University of Technology (coordinator).Despite more than 50 years intensive development in Nanotechnology & Micro- and Nanolithography the famous quotation of Richard P. Feynman "There’s Plenty of Room at the Bottom" (1959, at his famous after-dinner talk) is still highly topical. The aim of Single Nanometer Manufacturing (SNM) project comprises to come very close to this mentioned bottom of nanotechnology, touching the atomic level, which expresses the theoretical limit of constructing nanoelectronic-  and nanomechanical systems.

Today, the Si MOSFET (Silicon Metal-Oxide-Semiconductor Field-Effect Transistor) is the backbone of semiconductor electronics and his scaling, which means the continuous decrease of transistor dimensions, has been the driving force for the last decades of development. This dramatic long-term scaling trend in semiconductor industry is described by the "self-fulfilling prophecy" of Gordon E. Moore, co-founder of Intel, coined afterwards as Moore’s Law. The commitment to Moore’s Law has become a source of inspiration for several technological developments, resulting in an exponential increase of the number of transistors per chip.  Following this roadmap the semiconductor industry will break the 10nm scale at the latest end of this decade. However, the working horse of semiconductor industrial manufacturing, the photolithography, is reaching its fundamental physical limitations and the costs of new chip manufacturing fabs are explodes ($50 billion in 2010 for Intel’s 22nm fab).

To maintain Moore’s law in future, keeping the technological evolution alive on which our modern society is based on, novel nano-fabrication technology acts as key enabler to open new horizons in nanotechnology and nanoelectronics.

A 15 member strong and diversified team from industry, academia and acclaimed European research institutes, led by TU Ilmenau, Department of Micro- and Nanoelectronic Systems, is drawn together in a single integrated project to achieve this ambitious goal of pushing nano-manufacturing down the single nanometer digit regime and developing methods for precise generation, placement, inspection and integration of such features at the nanoscale.

Our approach leverages highly scalable beam based, scanning probe microscopy based & Nanoimprint lithography techniques, emerging science in organic/inorganic molecular based resist materials, advanced nano-pattern transfer techniques, novel inspection and overlay alignment methods and unique processing of novel nano-materials like graphene and MoS2 for integration into novel beyond CMOS nanoelectronic devices.

High performance Single Nanometer Lithography (SNL)

High performance Single Nanometer Lithography (SNL) is an enabling technology for nanoelectronics. The principles of physics allows building of transistors or memory cells with dimensions in the order of single nanometer, (e.g. single electron or spin based devices); however, new SNL techniques must be developed to realize these devices. This has led to an interest in the new nano-lithographic methods based on proximal scanning probes.

 

It is the aim of SNM to empower nanotechnology with a clear focus on industrial use, and to drive the rapid development of nanoscience leading to new Scanning Probe Processes and early industrial exploitation of novel nanoelectronic devices like single electron & quantum dot devices.

NANOHEAT

European project, 2012-2015

MultidomaiN plAtform for iNtegrated MOre-tHan-MoorE/Beyond CMOS systems charActerisation & diagnosTics

Collaborative project

http://www.nanoheat-project.eu

PRONANO

European project, 2005-2010

Pronano is a european research project consisting of 17 project partners from European industry, research institutes and academia aimed at the development of highly parallel intelligent cantilever scanning probe systems, consisting of active cantilever probes with integrated actuators and detectors, and custom made  data processing and control electronics. 

The goal is the development of a highly integrated VLSI-NEMS chip, consisting of a 128 by 128 scanning probe array with integrated ASIC.  At the same time new technologies for the fabrication and integration of cantilever scanning probe arrays and ASICSs  for analytics and synthesis of nanostructures are developed. 

Project homepage: http://www.pronano.org/.
(more information)

NanoPlasma

European project, 2006-2010

Nanoplasma is a EU research project consisting of 6 project partners from industry and academia aiming at the research and development of plasma processing techniques for the nano structuring of silicon, silicon dioxide, glass,  and polymers with structure sizes below 50 nm. Therefore, process simulations, experiments, and innovative processing concepts (closed loop control) are  being developed, verified and employed. The ultimate goal is to deliver the key technologies for “next generation” plasma processes and tools.

EIE - Surveyor

European project

Reference Point for Electrical and Information Engineering in Europe 

EIE-Surveyor is an ERASMUS 3 funded thematic network within the European program, SOCRATES.
It was initiated by an initiative of the European association for education in electrical and information engineering (EAEEIE) in continuation of the projects INEIT-MUCON thematic network (1996-2000), THEIERE, and THEIERE-Diss thematic networks (2000-2005). More than 110 European  

  • Focus on generic as well as topic orientated skills in electrical and information engineering.
  • Implementation of methodologies of quality assessment based on selected resources in electrical and information engineering.
  • Focus on recommendation of accreditation techniques aiming for a better comparability of certification procedures.
  • Recommendation of a survey about existing European curriculums in electrical and information engineering multinational diploma degrees, about the situation of the progress of implementation of the Bologna process with respect to Bachelor, Master and Ph.D. degrees. 

    Project homepage: www.eie-surveyor.org
    EAEEIE homepage: www.eaeeie.org/
    IEEE Education Society, German Chapter - Homepage: ewh.ieee.org/r8/germany/education/

    TASNANO

    European project, 2005-2007

    Tasnano is a European project of twelve project partners of the European union from industry, research institutes and academia. The goal is the development of parallel operating modules of application specific nano electromechanical systems based on cantilevers with integrated actuators for excitation of oscillations and piezo resistive Wheatstone bridges for the detection of the oscillations. Because of functionalized cantilever tips, they are sensitive for specific analyts, which makes possible the realization of gas or fluid sensors or specific scanning probe microscopes. The aimed for parallelization results in high scanning speeds and wide detection ranges.

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    Industrial projects

    PRIAMOS

    Industrial project, till Sep 2008

    Within the project PRIAMOS devices and complex components based on a novel BiCMOS technology are developed for custom specific circuits / application specific integrated circuits (ASICs). Powerful design tools are being use for the design of digital and mixed-mode circuits. The facilitate short development times, short times to market, reduced costs, and the re-use of design. 

    Analysis and optimization of the ratio of micro and nano structures

    The application of plasma enhanced deposition of thin film facilitates the fabrication of new composite nano materials.

    The novel µ-structures shall be made of a material with high Young’s modulus and low intrinsic stress. Also, it shall be easy to structure. Therefore, such material must originate from the semiconductor fabrication technology. Apart from applications in the area of electric engineering, further fields of application are the deposition of thin films of hard protective layers for MEMS applications.

    PECVD technology shall be used in the frame of this project. It is employed on the research of the deposition of composite MEMS structures. At the same time an industrial exploitation shall be pursued.

     

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    Funded projects

    Novel Small Cantilevers

    Novel Small Cantilevers

    DFG Logo

    Funded by DFG (Deutsche Forschungsgesellschaft) as partial project

    Period: 01 April 2017 to 31 March 2019

    Goal is to investigate novel small cantilevers with both high resonant frequency and low spring constant as well as a novel high-resolution measurement procedure for characterizing and calibrating them.

    MUSIK

    MUSIK

    Logos BMWi ZIM

    Funded by Bundesministerium für Wirtschaft und Technologie
    in the context of the program "Zentrales Innovationsprogramm Mittelstand (ZIM)"

    Project type: Cooperation project
    Period: 01 June 2017 to 31 May 2019

    Model development and verification for (N)MEMS

    Funded by the LUBOM innovations funds
    Till Oct 2009

    Univ.-Prof. Dr. - Ing. habil. Ivo W. RangelowMicrosystems which consist of specifically functionalized micro cantilevers can be used in a wide range of applications (environment analytics, gas sensing, bio sensing, and analytics of condensed matter). Because of increasing miniaturization, a number of components can be integrated as an array on chip. Parasitic interactions between individual components are often a problem for such design. It is required to identify the source of such parasitic signals, to classify them, and to minimize them in the frame of design optimization.  Simulation based and  mixed mode analysis, based on adequate behavioural models are strictly required.

    In the frame of this project, compact parametric behavioural models for cantilever systems are to be developed and verified. This shall constitute the foundation to develop new fields of applications and to optimize the control and data processing software with respect to the specific application.

    Cluster-Jet

    Funded by Volkswagen-Stiftung, 2003-2005

    Nano particles have exceptional physical, chemical, and electric properties, which can be utilized to develop novel nano electric devices and nano systems. To realize them, a random distribution of the particles is not sufficient. Instead, a precisely defined position of the nano particles is required. Up until now, the required techniques and tools are not available yet. Would be precise (better than 1 nm) position possible, there would be a number of novel nano approaches: quantum dots, single electron transistors, and quantum computers. In the frame of the VW projects “cluster jet” we propose a new method. It will use a particle (cluster) source and a perforated AFM tip. The perforated AFM tip is a member of a self-actuated, self-sensing piezoresistive cantilever. The goal of that design is to position single nano particles in well-defined distances of a few nano meters onto a surface. (more information)

    ForMAT: Strategies of exploitation for micro grippers

    Funded by BMBF, 2009-2011

    A secure and comfortable handling of microscopic sized samples is required for applications in the field of micro system technology, micro assembly, analytics, or research. To do this, miniaturized tweezers, so-called micro grippers, have been developed, which had been realized by micro system technology. The goal of this FORMAT-project is to advance the development of micro grippers with respect to requirements and potential for commercial exploitation. Specifications for different fields of applications of micro grippers shall be compiled that allow a commercial exploitation of the research results. Amongst the possible fields of applications are, material science, micro assembly, or biology/medical.

    Project homepage: http://www.tu-ilmenau.de/format

    ForMaT: ARCH type infrared Sensors

    Funded by BMBF, 2009-2011

    Innvations laboratory "ARCH type infrared sensors"
    Infrared imaging technologies, which can visualize objects and scenes in darkness, fog or smoke, have become very popular in academia and industry during the past decade. But there is still room for improvements left.
    The FORMAT research group has developed a novel bimorph infrared sensor with excellent sensitivity which is superior to conventional un-cooled sensors. Because of it’s new unique design which resembles the shape of a bow or an arch, it was named ARCH type.
    The outstanding technological properties and system parameters could be demonstrated in the first experiments. The underlying technological invention of the ARCH type sensor was patented in Europe.
    The strategic goal of the FORMAT  project, phase II is the constitution of a virtual innovations laboratory for market-orientated advancements of the ARCH type infrared technology, in close co-operation with potential customers and co-operation partners, along with a formation of a sound exploitation strategy. The interdisciplinary co-operation of the Department of Microelectronic and Nanoelectronic Systems and the Department of Commercial Information Technology for Services at the Ilmenau university of technology during the project ensures a foundation for the enhancement, with an eye at commercial success.

    (more information
    Unternehmen Region: Internet Portrait
    Project homepage: http://www.tu-ilmenau.de/format

    Presentation video:

    NanoLith

    Funded by the federal state of Thuringia/EFRE, 2009-2010

    The permanent enhancement of lithographic technology is the basis of success of micro- and nano technology. There is a worldwide research in further techniques going on. A prospective candidate for lithographic surface manipulation in the nanometer range is scanning probe microscopy with so-called cantilever probes (i.e., vibrating probes). These probes also offer the option to detect and image structures of the nanometer range. The Deptartement of Microelectronic and Nanoelectronic Systems at the Ilmenau university of technology is amongst the world’s leading research institutes in the field. In frame of the international collaborative project “Nano Lith” a prototype nano lithography system shall be developed and tested in collaboration of all project partners,  under leadership of the Nanocad GmbH. The target group are academia as well as industrial R&D dealing with the development of novel micro and nano electronic devices.

    Project homepage: http://www.tna-thueringen.de/projektdatenbank-tna/

    Video Cantilever

    Funded by the federal state of Thuringia/EFRE, 2009-2010

    Scanning probe microscopes allow the imaging of single molecules at millionfold magnifications. The principle is based on a small cantilever (detection needle) with a sharp tip. It is scanned – similar to a record player – across the sample and in this way detects the sample surface. Features at the surface result in a bending of the cantilever, which is detected by a laser beam at a photo detector. For application in medicine, biology, or semiconductor industry the imaging speed needs to be improved by a factor of ten. Extremely small cantilevers, about a hundred times smaller than conventional probes, are developed within this project.  Thus, real-time imaging (frame rate 30Hz) and, as a consequence, direct observation of time-variant processes becomes possible. These worldwide novel cantilevers open up completely new applications of real-time imaging of biologic processes or corrosion events. 

    Project homepage: http://tna-thueringen.de/projektdatenbank-tna/

    Implementation of marketing actions in the field of nano technologies

    Funded by BMBF

    Development of multi indicator measuring cantilever

    Funded by BMWi, 2009-2011

    During this project a latest generation aW (activity of water) measuring instrument based on the determination of the water partial pressure shall be developed in co-operation of three companies and one research institute. It is characterised by the use of cantilever oscillators, which allows a very accurate measurement as adulterant volatile substances and gases are detected, and the cross sensitivity to these substances is calculated and perturbations are eliminated.
    The device will be capable of detection of additional substances in the scanned samples by means of multi variable analysis. An automated sample loading mechanism handles samples under vacuum to prevent absorption of environmental humidity, to prevent inaccuracies of measurement. This is one prerequisite for the realisation of a economic automatic measuring instrument. The cantilever oscillators are fabricated and specified with respect to aW detection in our department.

    Development of a highly sensitive miniaturized gas sensor for CO2 for applications in analytic systems

    Funded by BMWi, 2009-2011

    This project is dedicated to the development of a highly sensitive miniaturized gas sensor for CO2 based on micro resonators for applications in TOC measuring instruments (TOC: total organic carbon).This project was prompted by by the increasing requirements regarding sensitivity and the trends towards online measurements, increasing the requirements of miniaturized devices. Another reason is the increasing demand for high quality TOC instruments worldwide.

    A new technological approach is a novel sensing principle of differential photo-acoustic sensors based on intelligent micro resonators integrated within thin silicon membranes, which accommodates the requirements of a two beam measurement technique. Up to date, there is no technology available that incorporates relevant performance characteristics, such as sensitivity and robustness with the aimed for miniaturization, which is also economically favourable.

    Ethylen detector

    Funded by BMWi

    The superior objective target of this project concerns the conception and development of a compact industrial qualified modular analytic measurement system based on cantilever array, which enables an accurate determination of ethylene gas components in closed systems by means of utilization of, supplied by the project partner,  specific substrate for the cantilever, and at the same time ensures a quantitative determination of ethylene content independent of temperature, humidity and CO2 concentration.  Based on the advantages of a cantilever array, the modular concept as of this project offers the option of the assembly of a powerful, universal, mobile, and economic analytical ethylene measurement system.

    Development of high precision piezo electric actuator systems and integration with silicon MEMS technology

    guide lines for funding of innovative technology oriented joint research projects, networks, and clusters – funded by the "Thüringer Aufbaubank"
    2010-2012

    Micro electro mechanic systems (MEMS) are used as sensors in various applications for quite some time. Their importance and the demand for these small compact sensor systems have tremendously increased in the past years. MEMS can be understood as integrated sensor and actuator device, where mechanics and electronics merge.

    During the project "Piezomems" a combination of fabricated micro mechanical components (piezo stacks) and the micro sensing systems for detection and processing of the signals takes place. The motivation and the goal of this research project is the development of a compact scanning probe microscope consisting of a xy scanning device with integrated sensors and electronics together with intelligent actuation members for scanning force microscopy.

    Interferometric standing-wave sensors (ISWSensors)

    funded by BMBF,  01 Feb 2012 - 31 Jan 2015

    Length and distance measurements are a common task in everyday life. Optical interferometers can be used for industrial length measurements from sub-nanometer scale  (size of single atoms) to 1 km. They utilize interference patterns that result from superposition of light waves with same direction of propagation. Interferometers are very versatile, they can be used for precision verification of machine tools in automotive manufacturing, for position determination in nano measurement and much more. However their technical setup is quite complex and fabrication is very expensive. Within the scope of this project the Ilmenau University of Technology plans to test a completely new kind of miniaturized sensors for optical interferometers in different application areas. These "interferometric standing-wave sensors" are based on the physical effect of standing waves resulting from superposition of two waves with contrary direction of propagation. Thus for the first time it becomes possible to align all interferometer components linearly in the standing wave, allowing for concentration of all functions within a very compact sensor that is relatively simple and easy to produce.

     

    Innovation network for micro-nano integration

    funded by BMBF,  01 Apr 2012 till 28 Feb 2013

    Program: 
    "Creation and extension of innovative R&D networks with partners in Baltic States" 

    Goal:
    Goal of this project in all participating Baltic States is the creation of sustainable comprehensive network structures in micro and nano system technology, allowing for developing common cooperation strategies, exploiting innovation potentials and successfully pursuing R&D projects. Furthermore existing facilities and initiatives (industry clusters, chambers of industry and commerce, European Enterprise Network etc.) will be integrated and transnationally connected into the respective Baltic states, giving the innovation network "Micro-Nano Integration" a real European/International dimension beyond the actual project partners.

    Dynamic nanopositioning for small movement ranges

    funded by DFG (German Research Foundation), 2009-2013

    Sub-project of Sonderforschungsbereich 622 (Collaborative research centre 622) under the main topic "Nanopositioning and Nanomeasuring machines"

    Next-generation AFM probes

    Funded by Bundesministerium für Wirtschaft und Technologie
    in the context of the program "Zentrales Innovationsprogramm Mittelstand (ZIM)"

    Project form: Cooperation project (KF)
    Duration: 01 Apr 2012 to 31 Mar 2014

    Development and simulation of a fast self-actuated piezoresistive cantilever

    Development of a novel method for a fully automated non-contact compact disk measurement device suitable for industrial production

    Funded by Bundesministerium für Wirtschaft und Technologie
    in the context of the program "Zentrales Innovationsprogramm Mittelstand (ZIM)"

    Project form: Cooperation project (KF)
    Duration: 01 Aug 2012 to 30 Nov 2014

    Novel Si measurement chips

    Project type: Collaborative Project
    Funded by Thüringer Aufbaubank
    Period:  27 July 2012 to 31 July 2014

    Goal of the project is to design and manufacture a novel piezoresistive measurement chip using MEMS silicon technology and its integration into a 3D scanner. The innovation lies in the realization of chips with extremely thin piezo resistors (thickness below 10 nm) and their large-batch production on a Si wafer.

    Development of highly sensitive mass detectors on cantilever basis (massSMEMS-CB)

    Project type: Collaborative Project
    Funded by Thüringer Aufbaubank
    Period:  01 Aug 2014 to 31 July 2016

    The tools and processes to be developed within this project should allow for hybrid integration of threedimensional microfluidic components with MEMS-based sensors. The goal is to create miniaturized and energy-efficient detector systems for fine particles.
    The sensors will be based on highly sensitive piezoresistive cantilevers which can detect even smallest particles in a gas flow. Particles hitting the cantilever induce a measurable sensor signal by momentum transfer.
    One aspect of the research will be the prevention or reduction of electrostatic charging and sticking of the particles to keep ducts and sensors clean.

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