In the field of microelectronics, international competition is fiercer than in most other technology sectors. Here, rapidly increasing performance and constant advances in miniaturization are the characteristics of decades of development. The performance of new computer chips doubles approximately every two years. More and more transistors can be integrated into a single microprocessor. Launched by Intel in 1971, the first ever commercially available processor consisted of around 2,000 transistors. Nowadays, the number of transistors far exceeds billions. New miniaturization technologies for device components are currently under development in global university and industry associations.
With the storage capacity of the microelectronical components continuously increasing, the structure size of silicon chips is reduced to a few nanometers. As a result, related physical effects (quantum effects) have gained increasing significance. These effects, on the one hand, limit further miniaturization of conventional device components. On the other hand, innovative concepts making use of these effects lead to continuous improvement in performance and energy-efficiency of a microchip's integrated circuit. This is the field of study we call "nanoelectronics".
At Technische Hochschule Mittelhessen (University of Applied Sciences), the field of nanoelectronics is an integral part of the Electrical Engineering and Information Technology Department's research and study. An introduction to the field of nanoelectronics and related technologies is provided as a compulsory course of the same name to students of the Electrical Engineering and Information Technology Bachelor's program with its specialization field "Electronics", and as an elective course for students of other Bachelor's programs. This course is accompanied by exercises designed to give students first-hand experience in the application of commercial software for finite element simulation. The compulsory "Solid State Electronics" course of the "Electrical Engineering and Information Technology" Master's program provides an in-depth look into the physics of nanostructured device components. In the accompanying elective course "Numerical Device Simulation", students can simulate, evaluate and interpret nanoelectronic device components, applying the finite element method.
As part of the Competence Center for Nanotechnology and Photonics, the Nanoelectronics/Device Modeling research group is working on projects concerning simulation and device modeling of nanoelectronic components in cooperation with European research groups. Correspondingly, students have the opportunity to contribute to the research work via study papers or theses in order to gain further knowledge on the field of conceptualization and simulation of microelectronic systems, the technology and functionality of electronic components as well as their mathematical descriptions.