NaMLab was founded in 2006 as a public private partnership between Qimonda Dresden GmbH and TU Dresden. In the first year, NaMLab started as a research organization with 10 employees focused on material research for future memory devices. The company steadily expanded and today, NaMLab serves a growing list of world-wide partners. NaMLab´s research is contributing to the main challenges for our future society with respect to climate change, digitalization and mobility by placing sustainable, secure and intelligent electronic solutions into the core focus. With respect to the technical areas those solutions can be divided into three main activities:
This sixth bi-annual report covers the NaMLab activities in the two year period 2020 and 2021. The timeframe was strongly influenced by the Sars-Cov2 pandemic. Especially a research organization working mainly experimentally is affected by this boundary conditions. The team pulled together and met the challenge with great success. The institute continued its path as a world leading organization in the field of material research for future electron devices. The level of international attention has again increased.
NaMLab´s research in the field of dielectrics is focused on fluorite-structure ferroelectric materials, such as hafnium oxide, and their application in capacitors. The understanding of the main factors that control ferroelectricity in hafnium oxide, as well as the understanding of the degradation mechanism of such ferroelectric materials was a focus point of the research. As one highlight, the optimized material stacks have been integrated into two 1T-1C FeRAM demonstrators successfully. This shows the strong link of between the research on dielectrics and device oriented topics NaMLab has achieved.
All three reconfigurable device concepts explored at NaMLab are currently under consideration for applications in both intelligent self-learning electronics as well as electronics with a higher inherent security.
In a reconfigurable field effect transistor (RFET), the polarity of a field effect device can be controlled by applying a gate voltage to a dedicated programming gate. In the reporting period, the team, together with an industrial partner, was able to demonstrate a first RFET device integrated into a state of the art CMOS technology. Moreover, this research field was significantly extended towards applications in hardware security.
The second topic in reconfigurable devices is field effect transistors based on ferroelectric hafnium oxide. Together with partners from Fraunhofer IPMS-CNT and GLOBALFOUNDRIES, NaMLab is pushing this concept since 2009. On this topic in the reporting period, NaMLab continued by working with GLOBALFOUNDRIES and the NaMLab Spin-Off Ferroelectric Memory GmbH on developing the embedded FeFET technology at GLOBALFOUNDRIES. Applications of ferroelectric hafnium oxide beyond semiconductor memories like neuromorphic computing and memory-in logic devices were a focus point. Besides FeFET based devices also ferroelectric tunneling junctions (FTJ) have become more important to realize artificial synapses.
The third major reconfigurable device concept explored is resistive switching. Here, new aspects of the threshold switching in niobium oxide have been explored that enable circuit demonstrators for new computing paradigms. As an example, the possibilities to use coupled oscillators to solve the very important graph coloring problem was explored together with the group of Prof. Tetzlaff at TU Dresden. Moreover, new projects to realize analog resistive switching as well as memcapacitance have been started in the reporting period.
The field of energy efficiency devices has three key topics, namely solar cells, batteries and GaN materials and devices. All three research activities aim on providing sustainable electronic solutions. The focus of the field of solar cells was the development of conducting passivation layers building upon NaMLab’s expertise in dielectric materials. Results showing the feasibility of the different components: conductivity and surface passivation have been successfully demonstrated. Based on the know-how in bottom-up nanowire fabrication, anodes for lithium-ion batteries were processed. In this reporting period a method to characterize the stability of silicon anodes using in-situ Raman spectroscopy was extended to characterize different silicon based anode configurations supplied by partners.
In the field of gallium nitride materials and devices at the outpost in Freiberg, together with its industrial partner NaMLab was able to further enhance the quality and reproducibility of crack-free doped HVPE GaN crystals. At the same time, in the MBE activities high quality films reflecting the understanding of the emergence and the impact of remaining impurities was further improved. In the field of GaN devices, first fully vertical devices have been produced and the optimization of these devices is ongoing. Moreover, a new Tantalum based gold free contact scheme for HEMT devices was developed and the stability of Al2O3 integrated as a gate dielectric into MISHEMT devices was improved.
In summary, despite the complicated boundary conditions induced by the Sars_Cov2 pandemic, NaMLab further strengthen its position in the core topics, contributing to the grand challenges of our modern society in the reporting period. This is documented in the increasing number of partnerships with local and international industrial and research partners. Another impressive increase of citations of NaMLab’s scientific publications as well as a large number of invitations to leading scientific conferences like IRPS, ISAF, EDTM etc. document the high international visibility NaMLab has now achieved and maintained. The NaMLab team will built on the strong results accomplished in this reporting period and further extend its efforts to continuously contribute to shape the exciting and challenging world of micro- and nanoelectronics.
Please read our NaMLab brochure for further information:
NaMLab looks back on 15 years of history in 2021. In its first year, NaMLab started as a research organization with 10 employees focused on materials research for future memory devices. The company expanded steadily and today NaMLab has approximately 50 employees working in research and administration.
Gender and Equality plan
Scientists and their research topics
Dr. Uwe Schroeder (Senior Scientist)
- Capacitor Dielectrics
- Diffusion Barriers
- Ferroelectric Materials
- Piezo- and Pyroelectric Materials
- Capacitor Based Ferroelectric Memory
Dr. Stefan Slesazeck (Senior Scientist)
- Hafnium Oxide Based Ferroelectric Memory
- Resistive Switching Devices
- Charge Trapping Devices
Dr. Jens Trommer (Senior Scientist)
- Nanowire Based Reconfigurable Transistor
- Single MOS Complementary Nanowire Circuits
- Parallel Nanowire Devices for Sensing and Logic
- Germanium Nanowire RFETs