Highlights 2015


MRS fall meeting in Boston, Massachusetts

One of the world largest conferences on Materials Science is organized by the Materials Research Society (MRS) with more than 16.000 members worldwide each fall in Boston, Massachusetts. This year, a Ph.D. student of the ATFT group (S. U. Sharath) had the opportunity to give an oral presentation on his investigation of the effect of oxygen engineering in HfO2 by molecular beam epitaxy (MBE) for resistive random access memory (RRAM) applications. The MRS meeting is an exciting place to exchange latest scientific results and ideas in all current fields of materials science.

Early Christmas excursion to Köln after DFG project meeting

Scientifically, the DFG project meeting about resistive switching in HfO2-based metal-insulator-metal structures for non-volatile memory with our partner IHP (Innovations for High Performance Microelectronics, Leibniz-Institute in Frankfurt/Oder) was certainly a highlight in November. However, most group members will remember more intensively our early Christmas market excursion to the famous city of Köln. Could scientific and general discussions be more fruitful than with a nice glass of Kölsch in front of you?

Annual meeting of the German consortium within the ENIAC project PANACHE

The ATFT group is part of the EU/BMBF funded project PANACHE (Pilot line for Advanced Nonvolatile memory technologies for Automotive microControllers, High security applications and general Electronics). Within this ENIAC JU project our group forms with Bosch and the IHP (Frankfurt/Oder) a German consortium. One important goal of the project is to identify a scalable future non-volatile memory concept beyond current flash technology approaches. One of the promising candidates is resistive random access memory (RRAM) based on CMOS compatible materials. The annual meeting was held at the occasion of the MST (MikroSystemTechnik) congress 2015 held in Karlsruhe (organized by VDI/VDE).

Two talks at the Fall meeting of the E-MRS in Warschau

Every year in fall, the European Materials Research Society (E-MRS) invites material scientists all over the world to its fall meeting at the Warsaw University of Technology in Poland’s capital. Our group presented their recent research results on two topics: 1. Resistive switching in HfO2-based stacks for future non-volatile digital memory devices, and 2. Thin-film ferroelectric varactors with highly-conducting oxide SrMoO3 electrodes for microwave applications.

Transatlantic cooperation: Results published in Nature – Scientific Reports

The exact stoichiometry control in ultrathin films is extremely difficult due to the low amount of matter in thin films with thicknesses down to the unit cell level. In cooperation with two American institutes specialized in plasma physics, we were able to show that femtosecond laser ablation-based mass spectrometry is an ideal tool for a stoichiometry analysis of thin films. Only femtosecond lasers provide the possibility for a very precise removal and subsequent analysis of material from thin films with high spatial (see image) and depth resolution. This work fuels the vision of future monolayer-by-monolayer stoichiometry determination in complex thin films.

Nicole LaHaye et al., Sci. Rep. 5, 13121 (2015), doi: 10.1038/srep13121

Ten years ATFT at TU Darmstadt (2005 – 2015)

In July the Advanced Thin Film Technology group celebrated its 10th birthday in the “Darmstädter Haus” ( in the beautiful Kleinwalsertal with a workshop on recent topics in materials science of thin films including molecular beam epitaxy, pulsed laser deposition, and magnetron sputtering. Of course, social activities such as hiking and wine tasting are an important part of such a workshop. The highest point reached was the “Hoher Ifen” (2230 m), and only minor casualties occurred on the extremely steep descend towards the refreshments at the “Schwarzwasserhütte” (Black Water Hut). During the wine tasting (in the Nature Hotel Chesa Valisa) new ideas for future activities but also research were pleasantly ignited.