RF & Nanoelectronic Devices

The RF & Nano Devices group has been working for four decades on the development of ultrafast and extremely small transistors for applications in radio frequency electronics (RF electronics) and digital electronics. Recently, the group's research has been focused on innovative devices made of two-dimensional (2D) semiconductors, including device theory and simulation, design, fabrication, and characterization.

Currently we are working on the following research projects
  • Ultimate scaled MoS2 MOSFETs.
  • Memristors made of 2D materials for neuromorphic systems.
  • Gas sensors made of 2D materials.
Further information about current projects:

Head of working group

PD Dr.-Ing. habil. Frank Schwierz

send e-mail| +49 3677 69-3120 | fax: +49 3677 69-3132 Kirchhoffbau, room 1021

Ultimate scaled MoS2 MOSFETs

MoS2 is a semiconducting material from the group of transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDs) that can be fabricated in the form of MoS2 monolayers, i.e. in purely two-dimensional (2D) form. Currently, intensive research is being carried out worldwide on transistors (MOSFETs) with channels made of 2D TMDs. Such transistors can be made much smaller (scaled up) than the Si MOSFETs commonly used today. In his plenary talk at the International Electron Device Meeting in December 2019, Robert Chau, Director of Components Research at Intel Corporation, presented his view of the future of semiconductor electronics, citing the MOSFET with stacked 2D TMD channels as the transistor type of choice for the final stage of scaling at the end of the CMOS roadmap.

We are investigating the scaling potential of 2D MOSFETs through theoretical considerations and quantum mechanical simulations. Our current work on this is ongoing in the framework of the DFGDACH project ULTIMOS2, in which we are exploring the scaling limits of MoS2 MOSFETs together with RWTH Aachen University, AMO GmbH Aachen and TU Wien, thus advancing the development of ultimately scaled transistors for future digital electronics.

Memristors made of 2D materials for neuromorphic systems

Neuromorphic systems work on the model of biological brains and allow the extremely energy-efficient processing of information. With memristors, the function of the basic elements of biological brains (synapses and neurons) can be reproduced in a very elegant way. Our research focuses on memristors based on two-dimensional (2D) materials and includes the fabrication of 2D memristors as well as the development of theories and models to describe the behavior of these devices.

Our current work on 2D memristors is carried out within the framework of the MemWerk project, funded by the Carl Zeiss Foundation, in which seven research groups at TU Ilmenau are jointly investigating memristive materials and devices for neuromorphic systems.

Gas sensors made of 2D materials

Two-dimensional (2D) materials consist almost entirely of surface and are therefore extremely sensitive to their environment, e.g. to the presence of gases. In fact, highly sensitive resistive 2D MoS2 gas sensors operating at room temperature have already been demonstrated by researchers at UCLA in the USA (detection limit for NO2 20 ppb). On the other hand, it has not yet been possible to describe and calculate the function of resistive 2D gas sensors theoretically well.

We are currently working on the establishment of a method to simulate the behavior of resistive 2D gas sensors. To this end, we are developing models that correctly describe the response of the 2D materials to gases and are working on the implementation of these models in a device simulator. The goal is to calculate the sensitivity and selectivity of 2D gas sensors under the influence of gases, thus minimizing the number of expensive experiments and significantly accelerating the development of resistive 2D gas sensors.

Our current work on 2D gas sensors is carried out within the framework of the Thuringian 2D-Sens research group, which we coordinate. Five research groups, three from the TU Ilmenau and two from the FSU Jena, are working together on the development of 2D gas sensors. In 2D-Sens, the entire value chain of research on 2D gas sensors is covered, starting with device theory, material synthesis and process development, manufacturing and characterization of sensors, up to the realization of demonstrators.