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October 21, 2021

Launch of a new European project on semiconductors

Consumer electronics, innovative quantum technologies and Internet of Things (IoT) applications all rely on semiconductors for which reliable characterisation of electrical properties at the nanoscale is essential for innovation and European competitiveness. To help the industry in this process, LNE is coordinating the JRP ELENA (Electrical nanoscale metrology in industry), funded under the EURAMET EMPIR programme.

JRP ELENA : Electrical nanoscale metrology in industry

Developing and characterising cost-effective instrumentation

The European Commission considers micro- and nano-electronics as Key Enabling Technology (KET) with high innovation potential for the whole economy, currently accounting for 10% of the EU's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and promoting highly skilled jobs.

To support the industry in this market, EURAMET's EMPIR programme has selected the Joint Research Projects (JRP) Electrical nanoscale metrology in industry (ELENA), bringing together 13 European partners to conduct research on the characterisation of electrical properties at the nanoscale. Indeed, the measurement of these properties makes it possible to evaluate critical parameters (e.g. dopant density, carrier concentration, dielectric constant and loss angle tangent, leakage resistance, etc.) used to define the performance of electronic materials and components. Currently, only conductive atomic force microscopes (C-AFM) and scanning microwave microscopes (SMM) allow electrical characterisation at the nanoscale, but they are expensive, complicated and, in many cases where they are used, unreliable and non-comparable because the measurements are not traceable.

The JRP ELENA project aims to make measurements of electrical properties at the nanoscale traceable

This project therefore aims to make these measurements traceable for the first time, with stated uncertainties, and affordable by:

  • The development and testing of cost-effective instrumentation
  • Development of the first 'out-of-lab' reference standard from DC (mHz) to GHz
  • The provision of easily accessible 3D models and simplified uncertainty budgets for conductive atomic force microscopy (C-AFM) and scanning microwave microscopy (LMMS)

This 3-year project was officially launched on the 28th of September 2021 during a kick-off meeting attended by all partners.

Learn more about this project: JRP ELENA