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Advances in silicon-nanoelectronics, -nanostructures and high-efficiency Si-photovoltaics

Silicon in various bulk forms remains a fascinating material allowing for solar cell efficiency records by ultimate passivation of the bulk, surfaces, and contacts. In parallel Si nanostructures emerge as capable building blocks in diverse fields ranging from nano-electronics and photonics to sensing. This symposium aims to share the latest research in these fields and to create new interdisciplinary ideas.


Silicon is an omnipresent semiconductor material that can be implemented in multifarious applications and that represents the foundation of modern electronics and energy harvesting. Silicon-based microelectronics, which is nowadays better described as nanoelectronics, will reach the sub-10nm technology nodes in the near future. At these dimensions, nano-size effects comprising for instance quantum confinement, statistical issues of doping, surface states, etc., come into play and deteriorate the performance and reliability or even cause complete failure of the transistors. Several of these nano-size effects were already investigated on deliberately fabricated Si nanostructures and the findings obtained there, might be essential to circumvent the problems that occur when FETs reach single-nanometer dimensions. Furthermore, unconventional and novel approaches of Si nanostructures are of interest as they could provide alternative workarounds that help preventing further delays in implementing future technology nodes with the goal to provide more performance at reduced power consumption.

In addition to transistors for electronics, Si nanostructures such as nanowires and nanoparticles open a whole new vista for various interdisciplinary applications in the fields of sensors, quantum-devices, manipulators, actors, optoelectronics, biomarkers, etc. Due to their high surface-to-volume ratios Si nanostructures are dominated by their surface, which requires new physics and chemistry to understand their properties. This knowledge is yet to be completed and transferred to modern transistor technology.

In the field of energy harvesting, Si photovoltaics has seen a boost in efficiency by replacing diffused p/n-homojunctions with heterojunctions that act as carrier-selective and highly passivated (recombination-free) contacts. This concept allows for a range of novel materials to be investigated as contacts but requires the precise understanding on their interface properties with Si. Despite reports about impressive conversion efficiencies, at least on lab-scale solar cells, the ideal hetero-contacts combining the right electronic and optical properties and being compatible with industrial mass-production, are yet not found. Further interdisciplinary research must find or develop materials that combine suitable Si-surface passivation with carrier-selective tunneling, long-term stability plus reliable and cost-efficient fabrication.

Hot topics to be covered by the symposium:

  • Si nanoelectronics: fabrication, metrology & characterization, device simulations (TCAD, etc.)
  • Advanced electronic devices (FinFET, T-FET, GAA-FETs, thin-film FETs, ferroelectric memories, etc.)
  • Integration challenges towards technology node N5: epitaxial growth, impact of defects, scaling limits, novel contact and doping techniques
  • Recent developments in electrical and chemical mapping of materials at the nanoscale (KPFM, SCM, C-AFM, SSRM, APT, TOFSIMS, SIMS) as well as optical measurements (µRaman, s-SNOM) and TEM related methods (HRTEM, EFTEM, CBED, EELS, E-holo, E-tomo)
  • Si-alloys (SiGe, SiC)
  • Si nanostructures (nanowires, quantum dots, nanocrystals, silicene): theory, synthesis, fabrication, properties
  • Doping, surface effects, surface functionalization
  • Nano-scale effects and defects in bulk silicon: O-nanoprecipitates, interaction with vacancies and interstitials, B-O-H complexes, effects on photocarrier lifetime
  • Applications of Si nanostructures: e.g. gas- and bio-sensing, electronics, photonics, energy harvesting
  • High-efficiency Si-photovoltaics by passivating tunneling contacts
  • Passivated Si-solar cell contacts based on poly-Si, a-Si, TCO, Si-oxides, -nitrides, -carbides, metal oxides and transition metal oxides, etc.
  • Bulk and nanostructured Si as anode material for lithium batteries and its Solid-Electrolyte-Interphase (SEI) formation

Confirmed list of invited speakers:

  • Asen Asenov (Univ. of Glasgow, UK): "Advances in the simulation of silicon nanowire transistors"
  • James Bullock (UC Berkeley, USA): “Materials based surveying of selective-contacts for silicon solar cells”
  • James F. Cahoon (Univ. of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, USA): "Bottom-up synthesis of rectifying silicon nanostructures: From asymmetric electron ratchets to decuple-junction photovoltaics"
  • Jean-Pierre Colinge (CEA-LETI, France): “The MOSFET at the end of Moore’s law”
  • Stefaan De Wolf (KAUST Solar Center, Saudi Arabia): "Passivating contacts for high-efficiency silicon and perovskite solar cells"
  • Bram Hoex (UNSW Sydney, Australia): "Nanoscale thin films for enabling the ultimate efficiency of silicon solar cells"
  • Tzahi Cohen-Karni (Carnegie Mellon Univ., USA): "Multiscale synthesis of highly-controlled hybrid-nanomaterials from a single one-dimensional (1D) building block to a three-dimensional (3D) mesh"; prefers May 28
  • Dirk König (UNSW Sydney, Australia): "Introducing n- and p-Type Behaviour in VLSI Silicon Without Dopants While Maintaining CMOS-Compatibility"
  • Jan Linnros (KTH Stockholm, Sweden): title tba
  • Thomas Mikolajick (NaMLab, TU Dresden, Germany): "Reconfigurable nanowire field effect transistors with volatile and nonvolatile configuration modes"
  • Oded Millo (Univ. of Jerusalem, Israel): title tba
  • Alessandro Molle (CNR-IMM, Agrate Brianza, Italy): "Silicene and two-dimensional Xenes for nanotechnologies"
  • Hele Savin (Aalto Univ., Finnland): title tba
  • Hiroshi Sugimoto (Kobe Univ, Japan): "All-Inorganic Colloidal Si Quantum Dots Codoped with Boron and Phosphorus"
  • Jan Valenta (Charles Univ., Prague, Czech Republic): "Luminescence decay kinetics as a clue to understand Si nanoparticles and their ensembles"
  • Wilfried Vandervorst (IMEC, Leuven, Belgium): title tba
  • Floris A. Zwanenburg (Univ. of Twente, The Netherlands): "Silicon quantum electronics"
  • Fernando Gonzalez Zalba (Univ. of Cambridge, UK): "Silicon transistors for quantum computing: From bits to qubits"

Confirmed list of scientific committee members:

  • Yonder Berencén (HZDR Dresden, Germany)
  • Kaining Ding (FZ Jülich, Germany)
  • Sergey Dyakov (Skolkovo Institute, Russia)
  • Pierre Eyben (IMEC, Belgium)
  • Benjamin Lee (Hanwha Q-Cells GmbH, Germany)
  • Enrico Napolitani (Univ. Padova, Italy)
  • Keita Nomoto (Univ. of Sydney, Australia)
  • Lourdes Pelaz (Univ. Valladolid, Spain)
  • Manuel Schnabel (NREL, USA)


Selected papers will be published in a Special Issue of "Physica Status Solidi" (Wiley-VCH).

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Symposium organizers
Daniel HILLERResearch School of Engineering, Australian National University (ANU)

32 North Road, Acton ACT 2601, Australia
Paul STRADINSNational Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)

Denver West Parkway, Golden, CO 80401, USA

+1 303 384 6774
Ray DUFFYTyndall National Institute / University College Cork

Lee Maltings, Dyke Parade - Cork T12 SRCP, Ireland

+353 21 234 6644
Steffen STREHLEInstitute of Electron Devices and Circuits, Ulm University

Albert-Einstein-Allee 45, 89081 Ulm, Germany

+49 731 50 26159