Dynamics of amorphous semiconductors


In the research team led by Martin Salinga we investigate the dynamics of resistively switching materials and their application in novel electronics. These materials can strongly change their electrical properties by rearranging their atomic configuration, while maintaining their chemical composition. How are configuration and electrical properties related? Which states are especially stable? How fast can a state be altered? What does actually happen on a microscopic level upon switching those materials? This is a selection of the fundamental questions, we are tackling with our research.

Which materials are particularly well suited for application depends greatly on the concrete objective. Our third-party funded projects are a good representation for how we employ our materials understanding to different fields of application. With a starting grant from the European Research Council, named NEURAMORPH, we aim at developing compact components for neuromorphic computing hardware.

In the collaborative research centre NANOSWITCHES (funded by the German Science Foundation) we join forces with electrical engineers and chemists to fundamentally understand the transient behaviour of resistively switching materials in nanostructured devices. This activity includes research on the switching kinetics and electronic properties of phase-change materials, especially in their amorphous states.

With the vision to pave the way for next generation memory technologies based on phase change materials our team collaborates with the IBM Zurich Research Laboratory. Between 2013 and end of 2017 the European Commission supported this partnership between industry and academia under the project name DIASPORA.