The last few decades are frequently described as the microelectronics revolution era, the most significant technological revolution since the industrial revolution of the 19th century. Microelectronics has now totally engulfed our life, and its applications continue to grow at an unprecedented rate.
The most significant characteristic of the development and evolution of the microelectronics industry lie in the continuous miniaturization of device dimensions in integrated circuits leading to more components and more functions per area, as described by Moore’s Law. Thus, the solid-state-electronics of the sixties evolved into microelectronics when typical lateral device dimensions reached the micrometer range. Now we are already in the era of nanoelectronics and the lateral dimensions of advanced devices are below 40 nm.
Materials have played and will continue to play increasingly crucial role in microelectronics technology. The ability to produce billions of nano-devices on a single microchip and ensure their performance, reliability, and affordable price depends on materials selection and design as well as on micro- and nano-fabrication processing technologies.
The Department of Materials Science & Engineering carries out extensive activities in micro/nanoelectronics in teaching (mandatory and elective courses) and in research. These activities are carried out in collaboration with industry which includes companies who manufacture microchips (e.g. Intel, Tower Semiconductors), and testing equipment for the semiconductor industry (e.g. Applied Materials), and companies that build systems with electronic components (e.g. Rafael).
Specific research activities in microelectronics and nanoelectronics can be seen via the faculty listed below: