Since the 1980s there has existed a symbiotic interplay between the tools developed for micro/nano technologies, and the study – both fundamental and applied - of novel electronic properties at reduced scales. Today, this is ever the case, as the research community is focusing on new functionalities and physics involving, e.g., spin or quantum states, on reducing the power of the devices, as well as on novel architectures immune to inherent nanoscale variability.
The Department of Nanoelectronics follows this path: the paramount aims of our research are, on one hand, to further the fundamental understanding of new physical properties of the condensed matter at very small scale, and on the other hand, to implement new concepts associated with the continuous progress in computation and data storage in the face of dramatic challenges at the end of the roadmap for highly scaled CMOS devices.
Novel phenomena are found in the fields of mesoscopic physics, nano- and quantum based electronics, nanomagnetism and spintronics. We realize and study a wide range of nanomaterials (from semiconductor heterostructures to functional oxide layers and magnetic ultra-thin layers) exhibiting original nanoscale phenomena, strongly correlated matter physics, and quantum and other advanced functionalities. In order to tackle these new physical concepts, the research within the Nanoelectronics Department involves materials development, nanofabrication processes, advanced low temperature – low noise – high frequency characterizations on the nanoscale, as well as theory and simulations. Our research ranges from fundamental investigations of quantum circuits, to novel devices based on manipulating state variables (charge, spin, phase), and all the way to unconventional architectures implementing new concepts such as bio-inspired circuits.
In addition to the academic research in the basic sciences, the Department of Nanoelectronics is strongly involved in partnerships with major industrial companies to open up new applications area. Moreover, a spin-off company SPIN-ION Technologies has been recently launched to transfer a department-nurtured technology, and state-of –the-art low-temperature, low noise transistors developed in the department have been sold in the US, Germany and France.