CMOS scaling

One of the five 2015 HiPEAC Technology Transfer Awards  has been granted to 3D-COSTAR by Mottaqiallah Taouil and Said Hamdioui of TU Delft, the Netherlands, and Erik Jan Marinissen of imec. 3D-COSTAR is a tool to optimize test flows of 3D stacked integrated circuits.

Xiao Sun and co-authors won the Outstanding Session Paper Award at the prestigious IEEE Electronic Components and Technology Conference (65th ECTC). The title of their paper is ‘Noise coupling between TSVs and active devices: planar nMOSFETs vs. nFinFETs’. Co-authors are W. Guo, C. Roda Neve, I. De Wolf, G. Van der Plas, E. Beyne and P. Absil, imec; A. Rouhu Najaf Abadi, KU Leuven; K. Ben Ali, M. Rack and J. P. Raskin, Université Catholique de Louvain; and M. Choi and V. Moroz, Synopsys, Inc.

At the 2016 SPIE Advanced Lithography Conference, Arjun Singh received the 2015 Hiroshi Ito Memorial Award Best Student Paper Award for his work on ‘Patterning sub-25nm half-pitch hexagonal arrays of contact holes with chemo-epitaxial DSA guided by ArFi pre-patterns’. Co-authors of the paper are B. T. Chan and R. Gronheid (imec); D. Parnell (Tokyo Electron Europe Ltd.); H. Wu, J. Yin and Y. Cao (EMD Performance Materials Corp.).

At the 2016 SPIE Advanced Lithography Conference, Danilo De Simone and Geert Vandenberghe received the 2015 C. Grant Wilson Award for their joint paper with Inpria on ‘Integrated fab process for metal oxide EUV photoresist’. Inpria co-authors of the paper are A. Grenville, J. T. Anderson, B. L. Clark, P. De Schepper, J. Edson, M. Greer, K. Jiang, M. Kocsis, S. T. Meyers, J. K. Stowers and A. J. Telecky.

At the China Semiconductor Technology International Conference (CSTIC 2016), Alberto V. de Oliveira received the ECS Best Student Paper Award for his paper ‘Low frequency noise and fin width study of Si passivated Ge pFinFETs’, co-authored by E. Simoen, P. G. D. Agopian, J.A. Martino, J. Mitard, L. Witters, R. Langer, N. Collaert, A. Thean and C. Claeys.

Cor Claeys received the Semi China Special Recognition Award for his outstanding involvement in the China Semiconductor Technology International Conference (CSTIC).

Eddy Simoen has been appointed to ECS Fellow. He is now among a select group of members who have amassed advanced individual technological contributions in the field of electrochemical and solid-state science and technology, and have displayed active membership and involvement in the affairs of The Electrochemical Society.

Guido Groeseneken (imec and KU Leuven) has received the 2017 IEEE Cledo Brunetti Award for contributions to the characterization and understanding of the reliability physics of advanced MOSFET nanodevices. The IEEE Cledo Brunetti Award recognizes outstanding contributions to miniaturization and nanotechnology in the electronic arts – sponsored by the Brunetti Bequest.

Lucas Petersen Barbosa Lima’s PhD thesis, entitled ‘Metal Gate Work Function Engineering for Future CMOS Technology Nodes’ was selected by the SBMicro (Sociedade Brasileira de Microeletrônica) and CEITEC (Centro Nacional de Tecnologia Eletrônica Avançada SA) as the best PhD thesis for the academic year of 2015-2016 in the category of ‘Semiconductor technologies, devices and fabrication processes’. Promotors of the thesis are J. A. Diniz (UNICAMP) and S. De Gendt (imec and KU Leuven).

Chao-Yang (Michael) Chen (imec and KU Leuven) has been selected as a 2016 IEEE Electron Devices Society PhD Student Fellowship recipient. The PhD Fellowship Program was established to promote, recognize and support graduate study and research within the Electron Devices Society’s field of interest. Michael Chen is performing his PhD research in the field of RRAM memories. Promotor of his PhD thesis is Guido Groeseneken (imec and KU Leuven).

Robin De Graeve has received the Best Paper Award at the 2016 International Reliability Physics Symposium for his paper entitled: ‘Quantitative model for post-program instabilities in filamentary RRAM’. Co-authors of the paper are A. Fantini, G. Gorine (University of Pavia, Italy), P. Roussel, S. Clima, M. Chen, B. Govoreanu, L. Goux, D. Linten, M. Jurczak and A. Thean.

Subhadeep Mukhopadhyay (imec and IIT Bombay, India) has received the Best Student Paper Award at the 2016 International Reliability Physics Symposium for his paper entitled: ‘Fundamental study of the apparent voltage-dependence of NBTI kinetics by constant electric field stress in Si and SiGe devices’. Co-authors of the paper are J. Franco, A. Chasin, Ph. J. Roussel, B. Kaczer, G. Groeseneken (imec and KU Leuven), N. Horiguchi, D. Linten and A. Thean.

Nandi Vrancken was awarded the Solvay Award for her Master Thesis ‘Growth and transfer of monolayer graphene – optimization and characterization’. Promoters of her thesis are H. Terryn (VUB) and S. Brems (imec).

Jerome Mitard has received a Short Course Instructor Award at the 2016 IEEE Nuclear and Space Radiation Effects Conference (NSREC) At NSREC, Jerome gave a short course on advanced technology options required to achieve high speed operation and multiple functions of circuits designed for various terrestrial or spatial applications.

Kurt Ronse has been promoted to SPIE Fellow for his achievements in the field of microlithography and advanced patterning. Fellows are Members of distinction who have made significant scientific and technical contributions in the multidisciplinary fields of optics, photonics and imaging.

Emily Gallagher has been promoted to SPIE Senior Member for her achievements in EUV lithography. SPIE Senior Members are promoted based on their professional experience, active involvement and significant performance. Emily is also selected as co-chair for SPIE Photomask in 2017-2018.

Mirko Scholz has been elected as a member of the Board of Directors of the ESD Association.

Mirko Scholz has received the Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Technical Program Committee at the EOS/ESD Symposium 2016.

Eddy Simoen won the Best Paper Award at the 13th ECS Symposium on Semiconductors, Dieletrics and Metals for Nanoelectronics for the paper ‘The assessment of border traps in high-mobility channel materials’. Co-authors are A. Alian, h. Arimura, D. Lin, H. Mertens, J. Mitard, S. Sioncke, W. Fang, J. Luo, C. Zhao, A. Mocuta, N. Collaert, A. Thean and C. Claeys.

Kristin De Meyer has been selected for IEEE Life Membership. This special honor is reserved for individuals who have truly distinguished themselves through their sustained and lasting contributions to IEEE. The Life Member status speaks to both Kristins professional achievements in technology as well as the significant impact she has made on the growth and development of IEEE.

Timothy De Keulenaer (imec-UGent-IDLab) received the ‘Nokia Bell Scientific Prize’, awarded by the FWO/FNRS in recognition of the PhD thesis that brings the most original contribution (concepts and/or applications, software and hardware) in the field of information and communication technology. Timothy De Keulenaer received his PhD degree from Ghent University with his work entitled ‘A duobinary receiver chip for 84 Gb/s serial data communication’. His thesis supervisors are J. Bauwelinck and G. Torfs (imec-UGent-IDLab).

Odysseas Zografos (imec and KU Leuven) won the Best Poster Award for his poster entitled ‘Non-volatile spin-wave majority gate at the nanoscale’ at the 2016 conference on Magnetism and Magnetic Materials (MMM). Co-authors of his work are S. Dutta (Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA, US), M. Manfrini, B. Sorée (imec and KU Leuven), A. Naeemi (Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA, US), P. Raghavan, R. Lauwereins (imec and KU Leuven) and I.P. Radu.

Heterogeneous integration


Electronics for healthcare and life sciences

Bloom Technologies, a spin-off of imec and Holst Centre, has won the Extreme Tech Challenge competition. This competition is organized by Richard Branson in his search for the smartest ideas and start-ups. Bloom Technologies produces sensors for expectant mothers to monitor their health – and the babies’ – during pregnancy. 

Rebekka Hansen (IMOMEC, imec’s associated lab at Hasselt University) has received the ChemCYS 2016 second prize for the best poster presentation in the session on life sciences. Her presentation was entitled ‘Nonsense suppression as a tool for the site-specific functionalization of nanobodies for advanced biomaterials’. Co-authors are P. Adriaensens and W. Guedens (IMO, Hasselt University and IMOMEC).

Karen Levrie (imec and KU Leuven) was awarded the Best Oral Presentation at the Summer Meeting on Bio-electrochemistry for her oral presentation entitled ‘Multiplexed site-specific electrode functionalization by combining electrografting and click chemistry’.

Wireless communication

Pedro Paro (imec and Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB)) has received the ISSCC 2015 Jan Van Vessem Award for Outstanding European Paper for the paper ‘A transmitter with 10b 128MS/s incremental-charge-based DAC achieving -155dBc/Hz out-of-band noise’. Co-authors of the paper are M. Ingels, P. Wambacq (imec and VUB) and J. Craninckx. 

The GreenTouch Consortium has received the prestigious Silver Edison Award. GreenTouch is a global collaborative consortium of 48 industry and academic partners dedicated to improving the energy efficiency in communication networks. Its Green Meter demonstrates a technology roadmap leading to a 98% energy reduction while supporting future applications and traffic growth. With the development of its power model for wireless base stations (, imec is a key contributor the GreenTouch results.

Image sensors and vision systems

ANTWERP SPACE-SPECMON - On-Board Spectrum Monitoring
Grigorios Tsagkatakis has received the Best Paper Award at the IS&T International Symposium on Electronic Imaging 2016 in the Image Sensors and Imaging Systems Conference for his paper ‘Non-negative matrix completion for the enhancement of snapshot mosaic multispectral imagery’. Co-authors of the paper are M. Jayapala, B. Geelen, and P. Tsakalides.

Flexible electronics

Cartamundi, imec and Holst Centre have received the Best Product Award at Printed Electronics Europe for their ultra-thin plastic RFID technology integrated into Cartamundi’s playing cards. The jury has hereby recognized the potential of this technology to become a game changer for the gaming industry, as well as for many other printed electronics applications in the Internet-of-Things domain.

Robby Janneck (imec and KU Leuven) has received the Best Student Paper Award at SPIE Optics and Photonics for his paper ‘Predicting the optimal process window for the coating of single crystalline organic films with mobilities exceeding 7cm2/Vs’. Co-authors are F. Vercesi (imec), J. Genoe and P. Heremans (imec and KU Leuven), and Cédric Rolin (imec).

Kris Myny has been awarded an ERC Starting Grant. The grant of 1.5 million euros is earmarked to open up new research horizons in the field of thin-film transistor technology. This will allow a leap forward compared to current state-of-the-art and enable breakthrough applications in e.g. healthcare and the Internet-of-Things (IoT). ERC Starting Grants are awarded by the European Research Council to support excellent researchers at the stage at which they are starting their own independent research team after a stringent selection procedure; they are among the most prestigious of European research grants.


Imec has received the Compound Semiconductor (CS) Industry Award in the category Substrates & Materials for its GaN-on-Si materials development with 200mm wafers. Imec’s R&D program GaN-on-Si was launched to develop GaN technology towards industrialization.

Sebastien Moitzheim received the Best Oral Presentation Award for the Analytical Environmental Chemistry Session at the ChemCYS 2016 Conference for his paper ‘Thin-film TiO2 as a reversible Li+-ion insertion electrode for application on 3D substrates’. The paper is co-authored by S. De Gendt and P. M. Vereecken.

The joint presentation given by Crystal Solar and imec received the 43rd IEEE PVSC’s Outstanding Technical Contribution Award for their outstanding paper ‘Kerfless epitaxial mono crystalline Si wafers with built-in junction and from reused substrates for high efficiency PERx cells’. Authors of the paper are R. Hao, T.S. Ravi, V. Siva and J. Vatus (Crystal Solar Inc.); I. Kuzma-Filipek, F. Duerinckx, M. Recaman-Payo, M. Aleman, E. Cornagliotti, P. Choulat, R. Russell, A. Sharma, L. Tous, A. Uruena and J. Szlufcik (imec).

Nouha Labyedh has received an ECS Student Travel Award for her contribution ‘Novel method for conformal LiMn2O4 thin films fabrication on planar and 3D microstructure substrates’ at PRIME 2016 (Electrochemical Society Fall Meeting 2016). Co-authors of her paper are M. Timmermans (imec), F. Mattelaer (Ghent University), M. J. Mees (imec), C. Detavernier (Ghent University) and P. M. Vereecken (imec and KU Leuven).

Bart Vermang (IMOMEC, imec’s associated lab at the Hasselt University) has been awarded an ERC Starting Grant. He receives two million euros to apply techniques from silicon solar cell processing to revolutionize the design of thin-film solar cells, improving their efficiency, cost and stability. With these 5-year ERC Starting Grants, the European Research Council wants to back young and promising researchers, giving them a perspective to pursue ambitious fundamental research that may lead to breakthroughs, and encouraging them to pursue a career in research and set up their own labs and teams.

Sensor systems for industrial applications



Jochem Verbist (INTEC, imec’s associated lab at Ghent University) has received the Award for Best Student Presentation at the 18th European Conference on Integrated Optics 2016 for his presentation ‘A 40 GBaud integrated silicon coherent receiver’. Co-authors are J. Zhang, B. Moeneclaey, W. Soenen J. Van Weerdenburg, R. Van Uden, C. Okonkwo, X. Yin; and G. Roelkens and J. Bauwelinck (his supervisors).  

Sien Drijkoningen (IMO, Hasselt University) has received a Brilliant Poster Award at the Hasselt Diamond Workshop 2016 for her contribution ‘Low temperature deposition of diamond platelets’. Co-authors of this work are S. Korneychuk, S. Turner and J. Verbeeck (University of Antwerp), P. Pobedinskas, M. Nesládek and K. Haenen (IMO and IMOMEC, imec’s associated lab at Hasselt University).

Jorne Raymakers (IMO, Hasselt University and IMOMEC, imec’s associated lab at Hasselt University) has received a Brilliant Poster Award at the Hasselt Diamond Workshop 2016 for his contribution ‘Impedimetric sensing of VCAM1 on functionalized boron-doped diamond electrodes’. Co-authors of this work are D.T. Ta (IMO), S. Drijkoningen (IMO and IMOMEC), S.S. Nicley (IMO and IMOMEC), Q. Wang (CNRS, France), S. Szunerits (CNRS, France), P. Adriaensens (IMO and IMOMEC), W. Guedens (IMO and IMOMEC), K. Haenen (IMO and IMOMEC) and W. Maes (IMO and IMOMEC).

Andreas de Groote (INTEC, imec’s associated lab at Ghent University) has received the Graduate Student Award at the European Materials Research Society Spring Meeting 2016 (Symposium M) for his paper ‘Optically pumped broadband LED emission coupled to SOI waveguides’. Co-authors of the paper are P. Cardile, A. Subramanian, D. Delbeke, G. Roelkens and R. Baets (INTEC).

Raphael Van Laer (INTEC, imec’s associated lab at Ghent University) has received the prestigious VOCATIO prize for working on sound in nanophotonic waveguides.

Andrea De Groote (imec’s associated lab at Ghent University) has received the Bronze Medal at the 2016 International Conference on Group IV Photonics for her contribution on ‘Integration of a III-V light emitter on a silicon photonics IC through transfer printing’. Co-authors of this paper are P. Cardile, A.Z. Subramanian, A.M. Fecioru, C. Bower, D. Delbeke, R. Baets and G. Roelkens (Ghent University).

Amin Abbasi (imec’s associated lab at Ghent University) has received the Best Student Paper Award at the 2016 International Semiconductor Laser Conference (ISLC-2016) for his paper entitled ‘Enhanced modulation bandwidth of heterogeneously integrated III-V-on-silicon DFB laser for 40 Gb/s NRZ-OOK direct modulation’; Co-authors are J. Verbist, X. Yin, F. Lelarge, G.-H. Duan, J. Bauwelinck, G. Roelkens and G. Morthier (Ghent University).

Imec’s FAB3 was awarded the Best International Project of the year at the British Construction Industry Awards in London. With this fab, which is imec’s new 300mm cleanroom, imec serves the global semiconductor industry in its search towards the ultimate IC technology. Fab engineer is M+W Group; Fab architect is Stephane Beel Architects.

Niels Brouwers (IMOMEC, imec’s associated lab at Hasselt University) has received a Student Exchange Scholarship at IAPRI – the International Association of Packaging Research Institutes. Niels Brouwers has performed a master’s thesis entitled ‘Fabrication and characterization of poly (L-lactic acid) – aluminum based metal organic frameworks mixed matrix membranes’. He will now extend the research of his master’s thesis for 6 months at CalPoly. External promotor of his thesis is A. Kathuria (California Polytechnic State University, Orfalea College of Business, San Luis Obispo, California USA); internal promotor is M. Buntinx (IMOMEC, UHasselt).

Roel Baets (imec’s associatiod lab at Ghent University) has been elected a 2016 Fellow Member of the European Optical Society (EOS) for his contributions to the field of integrated photonics and its applications in telecommunication and life science as well as for leadership in the European integrated photonics community.

Michal Gulka (IMOMEC, imec’s associated lab at Hasselt University) has received the Best Student Presentation Award at the European Materials Research Society (E-MRS) Fall Meeting (Symposia A) for his talk ‘Magnetometry based on photoelectric readout of electron spin resonance on nv centres in diamond.’

Frederik Vreys (IMOMEC, imec’s associated lab at UHasselt) has won the second prize in Best Poster contest at Nanocon 2016 (the 8th International Conference on Nanomaterials Research and Application) for his work on ‘Novel design for the thermal based biosensor using the transient plane source (TPS) technique’. Co-authors are G. Oudebrouckx, T. Vandenryt and R. Thoelen.

The imec ‘Levensloop’ team has received the Global Spirit of Relay Award, honoring the team’s commitment to the worldwide Relay for Life.

Gilbert Declerck, President of the Belgium-Japan Association and Chamber of Commerce and former President and CEO of imec, received the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Neck Ribbon for his outstanding contribution to the enhancement of economic relations between Japan and Belgium.