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Devices for Information Storage and Processing

Nowadays, micro-nanoelectronic research addresses on one side the continuous scaling of logic and memory devices, also in view of targeting low power electronics and new functionalities. These objectives have been achieved by introducing new materials, exploiting new physical mechanisms and innovative fabrication methods, and with the support of modeling, simulation and design tools. On the other side, there is an increased interest to develop new systems and new computing paradigms, which can address the current emerging societal challenges. For instance, the yearly increasing amount of generated data and the Internet of Thing applications demands for more efficient computation systems in terms of power and capability, to solve problems where the standard von-Neumann based platform fails.

In this framework, the CNR-IMM Institute has a long term and internationally recognized experience in the field of materials, technologies and simulation of logic and non-volatile memory devices. More recently, the Institute has also gained a recognized expertise in developing devices and simulations for neuromorphic and quantum computation paradigms. The institute is currently at the forefront of emerging technologies in the above fields, and the research activities are carried out in collaboration with leading Industries in the field, as well as Italian/international Universities and Research Centers.

The research activities are carried out in different Units of IMM (Agrate Brianza, Bologna, Catania Unit, Catania Headquarters) and are currently focused on the following macro-areas:

  • Materials and advanced devices:

    • (i) Resistive type of non-volatile memories, with focus on PCM, nanowire based PCM and oxide-RRAM
    • (ii) Logic devices based on 2D (silicene, MoS2 and other TMDs) and 1D (Si nanowires) systems for low power electronics. Ab initio simulations of 1D and 2D structures.
    • (iii) Dielectrics for CMOS and MIM capacitors for power management and analog applications: high-dielectric constant oxides; study of breakdown in dielectrics
    • (iv) Materials and devices for spintronics: magnetic tunnel junction, racetrack memory; first principles spectroscopy and simulation of magnetic materials and nanostructures
  • Enabling technologies and advanced characterization methods:

    • (i) Development of advanced methods for semiconductor doping
    • (ii) Development of advanced nanofabrication tools based on self-assembled materials
    • (iii) TEM characterization of nanodevices
  • Towards New Computation Paradigms

    • (i) Memristive devices as key elements for neuromorphic systems
    • (ii) Quantum computation systems: modeling/simulation of semiconducting and superconducting Qubit. Characterization of CMOS compatible Si based Qubit. Quantum Cryptography Microsystem.


Coordinator: Spiga Sabina

Chalcogenide layers and multistructures for phase change memories and neuromorphic devices

Research field

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Fe/Sb2Te3 Interface Reconstruction through Mild Thermal Annealing

Topological insulators are in the focus for enhancing spin‐to‐charge conversions when in contact with ferromagnets, and to optimize the interface is demanding. In our paper published in Advanced...

ALD growth of ultra-thin Co layers on the topological insulator Sb2Te3
In our recent paper @NanoResearch (Springer Nature), we report about the use of atomic layer deposition (ALD) to grow Co thin films, with thickness from several tens down to few nanometers on top of...
Engineering Domain-Wall Motion in CoFeB/MgO Ultrathin Films with Perpendicular Anisotropy Using Patterned Substrates with Subnanometer Step Modulation

Controlling the motion of magnetic domain walls (DWs) in ultrathin films with perpendicular magnetic anisotropy (PMA) has opened perspectives for mass-storage applications such as “racetrack...

Insight into the amorphous-to-crystalline phase transition in GeTe thin films

The unique method of 57Fe emission Mössbauer spectroscopy (eMS), as performed at the large-scale facility of ISOLDE at CERN, was employed to reveal, at the most atomic-scale,...

Quantum Hardware: noise and advanced control

Developing Quantum Technologies (QT) requires protection of coherence and quantum correlations, as entanglement, from effects of the environmental noise due to uncontrolled degrees of freedom....

Phase Change Memory Nano-Fabrication and Elements Segregation Study

Giuseppe D'Arrigo, CNR-IMM Catania


The working principle of a Phase Change Memory (PCM) cell exploits the reversible...

Quantum Cryptography Microsystem, Optical Computing and Hyperspectral Imaging

The research activity is organized on two main topics: (1) Quantum Cryptography Microsystem integrated on LiNbO3 and (2) Programmable Micro Diffracting Grating (PMDG) integrated on LiNbO3 for...

Advanced doping processes of Ge for microelectronics and photonics

Germanium is experiencing a renaissance during the last decade for several advanced applications such as high- mobility non-Si CMOS transistors to overcome the limits of Si scaling, infrared...

TEM/CBED strain measurement in devices

The mechanical strain in crystals affects their physical, electronic, optical and magnetic properties. In micro- and nano-electronic industry, the study of strain accumulated during the...