Leslie Schlag wins Best Conference Paper Award

In early October 2020, Leslie Schlag won the Best Conference Paper Award at the IEEE International Interconnects Technology Conference. The award was for research on localized deposition of ruthenium interconnects. The conference is an annual symposium where the three major semiconductor manufacturers, TSMC, Intel and Global Foundries, present their requests to research institutes and then ask for proposals.

The area at the boundary from the semiconductor device (Front End of Line - FEOL) to the metallization levels (Backend of Line - BEOL) has been supplemented in recent years by the research and development focus Middle of Line. This area in the chip is interesting because, due to the ever-shrinking dimensions, the distance between the vias is decreasing and, at the same time, the surface-to-volume ratio of the structures is increasing. This miniaturization has a bad effect on the time constant of the system because the interference capacitances increase. The solution to this problem is the integration of airgaps - air-filled cavities between the traces. Localized deposition by the gas-phase electrodeposition developed in Ilmenau offers the possibility to selectively adjust the size of the traces and the width of the airgap.

There is also another aspect. Alongside rhodium (platinum elements), the material ruthenium is of interest for the production of metallic contacts for the next chip generation. The reason for this material change lies in the changing material-dependent conductivity when the material becomes smaller than 100nm in its dimensions. Platinum elements have a much lower size dependence.

The paper described an innovative approach how unconventional new materials with an unconventional quite new deposition method could contribute to the desired goal of the large semiconductor manufacturers.

Article on pioneering nanotechnology in Nature Communications

Scientists at the Ilmenau University of Technology have succeeded in making globally unique advances in nanotechnology in the so-called "stretchable" assembly and interconnection technology. The research results obtained at the Department of Nanotechnology under the direction of Professor Heiko Jacobs have just been published in the renowned journal "Nature Communications".

In their article ("Integrated multilayer stretchable printed circuit boards paving the way for deformable active matrix"), which appeared in the latest issue of the scientific journal Nature Communications, the researchers from TU Ilmenau describe a printed circuit board that, like rubber, can be deformed in any direction.

The trick: The circuit board is not limited to just one metallization layer, but consists of several layers. This is the first time in the world that the team led by Prof. Heiko O. Jacobs, head of the Department of Nanotechnology, has succeeded in producing a multilayer stretchable electronic circuit board. Equipped with a distributed transistor matrix, this allows the electrical control of individual points on the surface of the matrix, which makes it possible to produce a wide variety of three-dimensional shapes.

The published results were produced as part of the German Research Foundation (DFG)-funded project "Stretchable Packaging: Fabrication, Assembly, Fundamental Studies and Applications." For six years now, scientists at TU Ilmenau have been researching stretchable electronics, known in specialist circles as "metamorphic electronics" due to their elasticity. It combines far more complex properties and qualities than conventional, rigid electronic systems that always have the same shape, paving the way to new applications.

In several DFG projects, researchers in the Department of Nanotechnology developed methods that enable not only the production of assembly segments such as transistors, LEDs or sensors, but also the separation, placement or mechanical and electrical connection of microscopically small functional units. Prof. Jacobs sees a key technology of the future in the interaction with metamorphic electronics: "If you combine this technology with elastomeric, i.e. dimensionally stable but elastically deformable carrier materials, a unique stretchable assembly and interconnection technology is created."

The term "metamorphic electronics" has since been coined worldwide by Prof. Jacobs' team. It has published papers in notable publications on, for example, a microphone matrix that can transform into a sphere, in spherical form, a spherical touchpad, and stretchable and inflatable luminous structures.

The reviewers of Nature Communications, an online journal of the Nature group, which is one of the most renowned journals in the world, also now considered the quality and novelty value of the Ilmenau research results to be so high that the submitted article was selected for publication - a high honor for Prof. Jacobs and his team, because especially in such a forward-looking field of research as nanotechnology, it often takes many years until secured new knowledge is generated from basic research that promises a far-reaching effect.

The knowledge gained may soon find application in new electronic systems. After all, just as electronic components are now an indispensable part of our daily lives and can be found in practically all areas, the same will undoubtedly apply far more to metamorphic electronics in the future. Professor Jacobs: "Essentially, all the electronic products we know can be transformed into stretchable, adaptable and reshapeable geometries, and new products can be developed as a result. Companies interested in collaborating are welcome to contact us to get innovative developments off the ground together."

DOI of the article in Nature Communications: 41467-019-12870-7


Nanos strongly represented at video competition of ZMN gala night

This year, the Center for Micro- and Nanotechnology (IMN MacroNano) announced a video competition for young researchers as part of the Gala Night. Three researchers from our department were able to take places in the Top6 of the field of participants with their clips on their own research.

Helene Nahrstedt (pictured right) took 3rd place with her video on nanoxerography of nickel and ruthenium.

Mahsa Kaltwasser (pictured left), who is now employed in the Electronics Technology FG, was able to achieve 5th place with her dancing magnetic microchips in fluidic self-assembly processes.

Shantonu Biswas (now at UC Santa Barbara) was honored with 6th place for his demonstration of stretchable printed circuit board fabrication.

5th and 2nd place went to staff members in the Department of Electronics Technology, and 1st place went to a master's student in the Department of Micromechanical Systems.

Insights into the fascinating world of nano-technology Aesthetic forms from the nano range

February, 16, 2017

Insights into the fascinating world of nanotechnology - Aesthetic shapes from the nanoscale
The winner of the photo competition "Nanoobjectivs" comes from the nanotechnology department

Excellent Shotgun Presentation Award

From Jan. 18-21, 2016, Leslie Schlag participated in the conference "International Symposium on Nanoparticles, Nanomaterials and Applications" in Caparica (Lisbon), Portugal. There he received the "Excellent Shotgun Presentation Award" for the presentation on "Self-Aligned Growth of 3D Nanoparticle-Bridge-Based Interconnects by Gas Phase Electrodeposition".


Quelle: ISN2A2016

November, 2014, Spotlight on Optics "Large-area fabrication of TiN nanoantenna arrays for refractory plasmonics in the mid-infrared by femtosecond direct laser writing and interference lithography"

July, 2014, The German Welt der Physik, " Lichtpaneele fertigen sich wie von selbst"

July, 2014 Self-assembly machines - a vision for the future of manufacturing

July, 2014, A First Implementation of an Automated Reel-to-Reel Fluidic Self-Assembly Machine

July, 2014, Advanced Materials Cover

July, 4, 2014, The German Physics Portal and the Magazine Optik & Photonik, highlights research at the Technische Universität Ilmenau and University of Minnesota in an Article "Makroelektronik: Schneller produzieren ohne Roboter". Archival

July, 4, 2014, Advanced Materials Cover, A recent publication of the research team has been by editors of Advanced Materials to be featured on the inside Cover.

June 5, 2014, Science Magazine, Editors' Choice, "Faster ways to flexible electronics" highlights Advanced Materials communication on the Realization of Rubber-like Lighting Module using Roll-to-Roll Self-Assembly.

May 25, 2011, Nature Materials, "Mosaic Masters" highlights R. Knuesel and H.O. Jacobs' Advanced Materials communication on Self-Tiling.

June 24, 2011, Advanced Materials Cover, Self-Tiling Monocrystalline Silicon; a Process to Produce Electrically Connected Domains of Si and Microconcentrator Solar Cell Modules on Plastic Supports.

January 14, 2010, Science Magazine, "Shrinkage," featuring UMN research on printable electronics in their January science shot series. 
January 14, 2010, Futura Techno, A French technology news outlet highlights Zheng and Jacobs research on Self-Packaging: "Les puces Èlectroniques pourraient se fabriquer toutes seals" publication.

January 13-31, 2010, Numerous news outlets (BBCArs TechnicaHeraldPopular ScienceDiscoverMagTCE TodayTGdailySoftpediaTreehGolemNewsintechPrinted Electronics WorldGreen DiaryEngadgetYour Renewable NewsPower & EnergyThe Green OptimisticSolarEthiopian ReviewEnergetikaNewstrack IndiaPhysorgElektroniktidningenRozhlasInovação TecnológicaTelepolis and many more) report on a recent PNAS article describing a fluidic self-assembly process forming a flexible solar cells.

January 13, 2010, Golem, A german technology news outlet highlights UMN research in "Solarzelle aus dem Öl-Wasser-Bad" article.

January 13, 2010, PNAS, The Proceedings of the National Academy of Science flags and highlights R. Knuesel and H.O. Jacobs research article on self-assembling electronics and photovoltaics to be of interest to the broader community and media.

January 12, 2010, BBC News, Interviews Jacobs and releases a news segment "Solar cells made through oil-and-water 'self-assembly'" that day.

January 12, 2010, Popular Science, Salad Science: Devices Self-Assemble Using Oil-Water Repulsion.

January 12, 2010, Ars Technica, Interviews Jacobs and releases the news segment "Self-assembling solar arrays as easy as mixing oil and water" that day.

January 12, 2010, DISCOVER Magazine Blog, Self-Assembling Solar Panels Use the Vinaigrette Principle.

September 18, 2009, Applied Physics Letters Cover, Continuous Nanoparticle Generation and Assembly by Atmospheric Pressure Arc Discharge.

June 16, 2008, Photonics Spectra, Controlled Growth of ZnO Microcrystals Achieved.
June 11, 2008, Nature Photonics, Under Control.
May 16, 2008, Materials Views, ZnO Micro/Nanocrystal Growth.

April 21, 2008, Advanced Materials Inside Cover, Controlled Growth of ZnO Micro/Nanocrystals.

January 27, 2006, Graduate Student Chad Barry wins Nanoparticle Industry Innovation Award.
November 22, 2006, Graduate Student Chad Barry Receives MRS Student Research Gold Award - Directed Assembly of Nanomaterials.
May 1, 2005, Advanced Functional Materials Cover, Fabrication of Multicomponent Microsystems.

September 25, 2004, Science News, Bartending lessons for microassembly.

September 6, 2004, The Dallas Morning news, Self-Assembly Principle Offers Eseful Devices.
October 28, 2003, Nanotechweb.org, Nanoxerography sets the pattern.
October 21, 2003, NanoBusiness Alliance, In The Spotlight.

October 13, 2003, MIT Technology Review, Process Prints Nanoparticles.

September 26, 2003, Nanoforum - European Nanotechnology Gateway, Small Copiers, Editors' Choice.

September 26, 2003, Science Magazine, Small Copiers.

February 2, 2003, National Science Foundation, CAREER Award.

November 27, 2002, Nature Publishing Group, Nanoscale Photocopies.

November 25, 2002, Materials News from MRS, Nanoxerography: Creating nanoscale photocopies.

November 4, 2002, Adanced Materials Cover, Approaching Nanoxerography.

August 1, 2002, Discover Magazine, Computer Screens Get Ready to Roll.
July 1, 2002, Photonics Spectra, Shake-and-Bend Techniques Builds Displays.

April 20, 2002, NewScientist, Bend me, shake me.

April 17/24, 2002, Technology Research News, Add ingredients, shake and serve.

April 15, 2002, Chemical & Engineering News, SELF-ASSEMBLY REQUIRED.

March 21, 2001, Technology Research News, Rubber stamp leaves electronic mark.

July/August, 2001, MIT Technology Review, Gold Standard.