Institute Director: Prof. Dr. Sc. Techn. ETH Heiko O. Jacobs


Welcome to the Institute for Micro- and Nanoelectronics

The Institute for Micro- and Nanoelectronics deals with the fabrication and integration of micro- and nanoelectronic devices. However, classical microelectronic products such as microcontrollers and processors, ASICs or memories made of silicon are neither manufactured nor investigated at the IMNE. Rather, the focus is on novel materials, devices and manufacturing processes with the aim of enabling a new generation of electronic products. As an example, 2D materials for the fabrication of transistors and memristive devices are investigated. For material deposition, resource-saving (green) 3D nanoprinting and direct-write processes are explored in addition to established methods. Generated devices will be separated and integrated into systems. For this purpose, novel heterogeneous integration methods and assembly and interconnection techniques are being developed, which, for example, allow microscopic functional units to be arranged and connected on novel carrier materials "hard, soft, elastic, organic, inorganic" for the first time.

Device Examples Include:

Passive neuromorphic devices (e.g.: memristive memories),

Active 2D materials (transistors and switches)

RF and power electronic devices,

Micromechanical sensors,

Multimodal nanoparticle-based sensor arrays for compositional analysis of toxic gases

System Examples Include:

Aerosol analysis chips for detection and storage of viruses, spores and bacteria.

Metamorphic electronics (microphone arrays, antenna arrays, LED arrays, touchpads) which take on new geometries through mechanical deformation.

LED arrays for illumination fabricated by fluidic self-assembly instead of pick and place.

Reactive thin film systems

LTCC based RF electronics for satellite communication.

HIPS sensors resulting from a fusion of silicon and ceramic multilayer technology.


In teaching, the institute is significantly involved in the international master's program "Micro- and Nanotechnologies", which reflects the research topics in essential points: “The degree program Micro- and Nanotechnologies allows a deeper understanding of scientific background as well as technological processes in the field of micro- and nanostructure generation and application. A key focus of the program is devoted to nano-structuring techniques.”

Further information on the master`s program Micro- and Nanotechnologies

HörsaalTU Ilmenau/Michael Reichel

General Information

1. General Societal Relevance:

Micro- and nanoelectronics is a key technology for innovation, and is considered an essential technology branch for securing Europe's sovereignty. As such, investment to expand microelectronics by policymakers and industry has increased sharply in the recent past, because it is hard to imagine a world without this branch of technology: there would be no computers, no modern cars, no industrial production, no smart ID cards, no diagnostic systems for healthy living, no efficient drives and sensor technology for sustainable and intelligent mobility. Nor would Germany be able to advance innovations in grid control for a sustainable energy supply and the digitalization of our society and economy. As a cross-sectional technology, it provides solutions for the prosperity of a climate-friendly and sustainable society of the future.


2. Career Prospects:

Whether in the automotive sector, the energy industry, biotechnology, medicine, IT - microelectronics can be found almost everywhere these days. It is not only in Asia that strategic expansion is taking place. Highly automated fabs for manufacturing chips are springing up like automobile plants in every industrialized nation in the world. The majority of engineers do not work in these fabs, but on developing new products and solving societal challenges of the 21st century: making our electrical devices smaller, lighter and more effective. They develop and build optical, electronic and mechanical components and create functioning systems from them. The professional field of microelectronics is still relatively young, but the demand for qualified specialists in the field is all the higher for it. The pay and career prospects are extremely good, the work-life balance is in line with the times, and the job profiles and teams are mostly international and interlinked.

3. Research and Development Perspectives:

There is no such thing as standstill. Diversity and application areas are constantly expanding: e.g.: functional density and diversity in smaller volumes is increasing, larger area panels, or even mechanically deformable (so-called metamorphic electronics) products, smallest autonomous microscopic electronics and sensor technology (smart dust), energy efficient storage, energy efficient electronics, 3D electronics, quantum electronics, new materials, biodegradable electronics products and much more. It is our engineers who drive and secure the innovations at the research and development departments of small startups or large high-tech companies in Germany, Europe and the world.