MDM is a state-of-the-art facility and its major research activities are focused on the investigation of the structural, electrical, optical and magnetic properties of materials for present and future nanoelectronics, as well as on developing innovative processes and characterization techniques. Research performed at MDM concerns the most critical trend in electronics, namely the continually decreasing size of transistors and other components used as "building blocks" for more complex devices, such as the "System- on-Chip" that integrates tens or hundreds of millions of transistors on a tiny silicon chip and provides the heart of electronic applications such as mobile phones, set- top boxes and car engine management units.
Reducing the size of the transistors, typically by around 30% every two years,makes the new product faster, cheaper and less power-consuming, thereby enabling the expansion of existing markets and the creation of new applications. However, the development of a new generation of semiconductor technology often involves the introduction of specialized new materials and processes; it is essential that the properties of these materials are thoroughly understood and characterized before they can be introduced into a high volume manufacturing flow that is both complex and highly cost-sensitive.
The strong collaboration with the industrial partner is also an opportunity for scientists to address fundamental issues in condensed matter, made possible by the availability of state of the art and advanced industrial devices and prototypes.
The research activity carried out at the MDM Laboratory is a delicate balance among:
• long-term actions aimed at the development of materials, processes, as well as advanced characterization techniques and methodologies for future scenarios in nano-electronics;
• medium-term actions strongly connected with issues in these fields and with potential impact on the next generation devices;
• short-term actions aimed at solving problems encountered by the industrial partner in its R&D and production activity.
With the national and the international collaborations established during the years, the capabilities of addressing different issues, relevant for industrial applications, are strongly enhanced and concurrently new fundamental research activities are stimulated. MDM is also strongly active in training students and young researchers, at the national and international level, and is involved in several seminars, schools, and courses. The training activity focuses on fundamental as well as more applied and industrial-related issues.
Currently, MDM staff consists of more than 30 people, including researchers, students, technicians and administrative. The Head of the Unit is Prof. Marco Fanciulli.