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Michigan Microelectronics & Semiconductors

Home to some of the most exciting research happening in the field


Michigan ECE is home to some of the most exciting research happening in the field of semiconductors and microelectronics. With core strength in Circuits and Systems, Devices, MEMS, Lasers, Materials, Organics, Nanotechnology, Optics & Photonics, Quantum Theory & Technology, and Plasma Science, ECE’s world-renowned faculty have a legacy of major impact in the field.

Ready for Production

ECE’s activity in Microelectronics and Semiconductors begins with theory, and encompasses every step to applications in critical areas including energy, environment, health, defense, and computing. Our faculty and students have a proven track-record for bringing their research to the marketplace.

World’s Smallest Computer

As computing devices progress toward smaller and more efficient designs, Michigan Engineers have taken the lead in millimeter sized units that can perform on many alternating platforms.

Breakthrough transparent organic solar cells

University of Michigan researchers have designed a system that operates with 15 percent efficiency, beating out past organic solar cells. Further developments include solar cells integrated into windows.

News Feed

AI chips could get a sense of time

Timekeeping in the brain is done with neurons that relax at different rates after receiving a signal; now memristors—hardware analogues of neurons—can do that too

University of Michigan team partners with Semiwise to tackle cryogenic control electronics technology

Prof. Dennis Sylvester and PhD student Qirui Zhang are working with UK-based company Semiwise Ltd. to design cryogenic circuitry and improve the efficiency of quantum computing.

Augmented reality system for accessible play, iGYM, goes international

Using iGYM’s computer vision module, the U-M team partnered with the University of Tsukuba’s FUTUREGYM Team to develop new interactive games that allow children of all abilities to play together.

New Quant-UM organization empowers undergrads interested in Quantum Science and Technology

The club is partnering with the Quantum Research Institute to educate and support students across the university who have an interest in quantum fields.

Shubham Mondal receives SVCF Scholarship to support his research in semiconductor materials

Mondal works to improve the operation of electronic and optoelectronic devices using III-Nitride based semiconductor materials.

Nextgen computing: Hard-to-move quasiparticles glide up pyramid edges

Computing with a combination of light and chargeless excitons could beat heat losses and more, but excitons need new modes of transport

Prof. P.C. Ku Named Fellow of Optica

Prof. Ku received this honor for his pioneering contributions to semiconductor nanostructured optoelectronic materials, devices, and their applications.

Shaping the quantum future with lightwave electronics

The semiconductor-compatible technology is a million times faster than existing electronics and could give us access to an entire new world of quantum phenomena.

Yixin Xiao awarded AVS scholarship for research that supports optoelectronic and renewable energy applications

Xiao’s work has helped advance artificial photosynthesis research, and he led a project on red micro LEDs that could expand the possibilities for AR and VR applications.

U-Michigan a partner in two CHIPS Act Midwest microelectronics hubs

The latest DoD funding announcements bolster Michigan Engineering’s efforts to support revitalization of the U.S. semiconductor sector.

Environmentally-friendly chrome-like finish for cars supports wireless sensing technologies for vehicle safety

Prof. L. Jay Guo led the design of novel thin film structures that mimic the chrome appearance, but are made with environmentally benign materials, which also work well with autonomous technology.

Semiconductor workforce program increases access to hands-on training

‘In undergrad, you sometimes feel like you’re just passing classes. But what we’re doing here is science.’

Organic photovoltaics offer realistic pathway to power-generating windows

A new fabrication process greatly improves the reliability of highly-efficient semi-transparent solar cells, which can be applied to windows to generate solar power.

Inside the Quantum Research Institute

Mack Kira, co-director of the Quantum Research Institute with Steven Cundiff, is taking Michigan’s quantum activities to the next level.

Focused ambitions

While hunger for an artificial intelligence that can think like a human remains unsated, AI continues to appear in our lives in smaller ways.

Advancing chips for the auto sector is the goal of new Michigan-based initiative

U-Michigan joins industry, state, education partners to develop talent and technology.

New undergraduate courses prepare students for the Second Quantum Revolution

Quantum information science and engineering is one of the hottest fields in engineering – and ECE wants to make it accessible to everyone.

Sangmin Yoo awarded Predoctoral Fellowship to support research impacting next generation computing

Yoo is making memory devices more flexible and tunable, making them irresistible for modern AI applications.

From new material to device: Ferroelectric HEMT could be a game changer for next generation electronics

Prof. Zetian Mi’s team proved the viability of a reconfigurable, ScAlN/AlGaN/GaN ferroelectric HEMT transistor that is critical for next-generation communication and computing systems

Parag Deotare awarded DURIP grant to probe exciton energy transport at nanoscale

The tool is expected to advance the study of exciton dynamics, which could help identify new research directions for clean energy and information technology.

Ishtiaque Navid receives SVCF Scholarship to support his research in semiconductor materials

Navid’s research is focused on artificial photosynthesis and optoelectronics using III-Nitride based semiconductor materials.

Arthur Xiao receives SVCF Scholarship to support his research in semiconductor materials

Xiao has been working on several projects in Prof. Zetian’s Mi’s group, including micro LED technology and renewable energy.

Nanoscale ferroelectric semiconductor could power AI and post-Moore’s Law computing on a phone

Next-gen computing material gets down to the right size for modern manufacturing.

Scalable method to manufacture thin film transistors achieves ultra-clean interface for high performance, low-voltage device operation

Led by Prof. Becky Peterson, the research focuses on a category of materials important for low power logic operations, high pixel density screens, touch screens, and haptic displays.

Six ECE faculty will help shape the future of semiconductors as part of the JUMP 2.0 program

Elaheh Ahmadi, David Blaauw, Michael Flynn, Hun-Seok Kim, Hessam Mahdavifar, and Zhengya Zhang bring their expertise and creativity to this nationwide undertaking in the area of semiconductors and information & communication technologies.

Open-source hardware: a growing movement to democratize IC design

Dr. Mehdi Saligane, a leader in the open-source chip design community, was among the first researchers to fabricate a successful chip as part of Google’s multi-project wafer program.

Dennis Sylvester Elected to National Academy of Inventors

Sylvester’s inventions in low-power chip design have led to multiple startup companies and products found in hundreds of millions of devices.

Prof. Zetian Mi selected as IEEE NTC Distinguished Lecturer

Mi’s talk will focus on how to break the efficiency bottleneck of micro-LEDs and deep UV optoelectronics, critical to continued advances in virtual/augmented reality, water purification, sterilization, and more

Dennis Sylvester named Edward S. Davidson Collegiate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering

[Watch the lecture] Sylvester’s innovations in ultra-low-power computing led to the Michigan Micro Mote, the world’s smallest computer.

Miniature and durable spectrometer for wearable applications

A team led by P.C. Ku and Qing Qu have developed a miniature, paper-thin spectrometer measuring 0.16mm2 that can also withstand harsh environments.

Best paper for a low-power ADC circuit for brain-machine interface applications

Euisik Yoon’s team, led by Sungjin Oh, developed a low-power neural recording front-end circuit to interface with state-of-the-art neural probes.

ECE at the center of Celebrate Invention: 2022

Wei Lu talked about his innovations as the 2022 Distinguished University Innovator, followed by a panel discussion about the University’s role in fueling new high tech companies in the area.

Breakthrough in green micro-LEDs for augmented/mixed reality devices

Prof. Zetian Mi’s team are the first to achieve high-performance, highly stable green micro-LEDs with dimensions less than 1 micrometer on silicon, which can support ultrahigh-resolution full-color displays and other applications.

Seeing electron movement at fastest speed ever could help unlock next-level quantum computing

New technique could enable processing speeds a million to a billion times faster than today’s computers and spur progress in many-body physics.

CHIPS and Science Act: Implications and Opportunities

The CHIPS and Science Act of 2022 promises to revitalize the U.S. semiconductor industry. Dennis Sylvester offers his perspective on what it means for ECE.

Photosynthesis copycat may improve solar cells

The new approach moves energy efficiently and could reduce energy losses converting light into electricity.

Next generation neural probe leads to expanded understanding of the brain

The hectoSTAR probe, with 128 stimulating micro-LEDs and 256 recording electrodes integrated in the same neural probe, was designed for some stellar brain mapping projects

Ester Bentley receives Impact award for her research with the goal of GPS-free navigation

Bentley presented her research as an NDSEG Fellow. She is working to make smaller, more affordable high accuracy navigation-grade gyroscopes.

Toward manufacturing semitransparent solar cells the size of windows

A peel-off patterning technique could enable more fragile organic semiconductors to be manufactured into semitransparent solar panels at scale.

Solar-powered chemistry uses carbon dioxide and water to make feedstock for fuels, chemicals

Producing synthesis gas, a precursor of a variety of fuels and chemicals, no longer requires natural gas, coal or biomass.

Emulating impossible “unipolar” laser pulses paves the way for processing quantum information

Quantum materials emit light as though it were only a positive pulse, rather than a positive-negative oscillation.

Overcoming the efficiency cliff of red micro-LEDs for virtual/augmented reality

Prof. Zetian Mi leads a team that created highly-efficient red micro LEDs suitable for augmented and virtual reality.

Graphene-hBN breakthrough to spur new LEDs, quantum computing

Study uncovers first method for producing high-quality, wafer-scale, single-layer hexagonal boron nitride

Touheed Anwar Atif awarded Rackham Predoctoral Fellowship for his research on quantum information and quantum computing

Atif’s coding framework addresses quantum information network coding problems and has helped uncover new insights into the world of quantum information.

‘Exciton surfing’ could enable next-gen energy, computing and communications tech

A charge-neutral information carrier could cut energy waste from computing, now that it can potentially be transported within chips.

New understanding of neurons in the hippocampus: they’re all the same

A longstanding collaboration between engineers and neuroscientists leads to new insights into how neurons work in the hippocampus.

Quantum tech: Semiconductor “flipped” to insulator above room temp

Discovery could pave the way to high speed, low-energy quantum computing.

Research full speed ahead on manufacturable III-V materials for next-generation electronics

A recent breakthrough in ferroelectric III-V semiconductors at the University of Michigan has been followed by several advancements and new funding to bring the technology closer to market.

Batteryless next-generation cellular devices could empower a more sustainable future

PhD student Trevor Odelberg is looking to enable long range, highly reliable, and low-power cellular IoT devices that one day can run entirely on harvested energy, reducing battery waste and empowering devices to last for decades.

Prof. Heath Hofmann named IEEE Fellow for his impact in the areas of electric machinery and drive systems

Hofmann’s control technology has been implemented in commercial vehicles, and he works tirelessly to enhance opportunities for underrepresented students.

Prof. Euisik Yoon named IEEE Fellow for groundbreaking research in Bio-MEMS

Yoon’s research has contributed to a better understanding of the brain, as well as improved detection and treatment of cancer.

Prof. Zetian Mi named IEEE Fellow for his pioneering contributions to III-nitride photonics and clean energy

Mi’s research is impacting the future of alternative energy, as well as improved methods for water purification and air disinfection.

Mimicking a human fingertip’s sensitivity and sense of direction for robotic applications

With the help of 1.6 million GaN nanopillars per sensor, the University of Michigan team was able to provide human-level sensitivity with directionality on a compact, easily manufactured system

Egg-carton-style patterning keeps charged nanoparticles in place and suitable for a wide range of applications

Prof. Jay Guo and his team discovered a scalable way to settle down and precisely arrange micro- and nano-sized particles according to size

Michigan startup MemryX, Inc. promises faster, cheaper AI processing

The ECE startup builds neuromorphic computer chips uniquely suitable for AI applications

Nanotech OLED electrode liberates 20% more light, could slash display power consumption

A five-nanometer-thick layer of silver and copper outperforms conventional indium tin oxide without adding cost.

Snails carrying the world’s smallest computer help solve mass extinction survivor mystery

The study yields new insights into the survival of a native snail important to Tahitian culture and ecology and to biologists studying evolution, while proving the viability of similar studies of very small animals including insects

Dawn of nitride ferroelectric semiconductors for next-generation electronics

The ability to precisely tune electrical polarization switching through molecular beam epitaxy is a gamechanger

3D motion tracking system could streamline vision for autonomous tech

Transparent optical sensor arrays combine with a specialized neural network in new University of Michigan prototype

$6.25 million to develop new semiconductors for artificial photosynthesis

An interdisciplinary team from four universities are developing a new class of semiconductors for novel artificial photosynthesis and the production of clean chemicals and fuels using sunlight, as part of a DoD MURI

Research to advance low-power speech recognition highlighted by Intel

Michael Flynn and his group are applying their groundbreaking work in beamforming to the challenge of low-power on-chip speech recognition.

“Egg carton” quantum dot array could lead to ultralow power devices

By putting a twist on new “2D” semiconductors, researchers have demonstrated their potential for using single photons to transmit information.

Mapping quantum structures with light to unlock their capabilities

Rather than installing new “2D” semiconductors in devices to see what they can do, this new method puts them through their paces with lasers and light detectors.

First digital single-chip millimeter-wave beamformer will exploit 5G capabilities

The digital beamforming chip offers significant advantages over current analog beamforming solutions.

Tracking Monarch Butterfly Migration with the World’s Smallest Computer

In a project funded by National Geographic, ECE researchers are teaming up with the department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology to advance our understanding of monarch butterfly migration with the most ambitious iteration of the Michigan Micro Mote yet.

Burn after reading

A self-erasing chip for security and anti-counterfeit tech.

Coordination and collaboration are critical to U.S. leadership in plasma science: a Q&A with the Plasma 2020 Decadal Study co-chair

Plasma science has the potential to speed advances in medicine, energy, electronics and more—including helping us deal with pandemics.

U-M startup NS Nanotech unveils new generation of LEDs for high-efficiency, high-performance displays

Brighter, crisper screens that draw half the power and lasts twice as long are possible with NS Nanotech’s next-gen LEDs.

Battery-free sensor startup takes aim at industrial efficiency

Part of the team that brought us the world’s smallest computer in 2015 brings the future of computing technology into the present.

Small, precise and affordable gyroscope for navigating without GPS

Accurate gyroscopes are a bottleneck for backup navigation systems in autonomous vehicles.

Best paper award for optimizing wireless power transfer

Prof. Al-Thaddeus Avestruz and PhD student Xin Zan were honored at the IEEE Energy Conversion Congress and Exposition for their work improving the efficiency and reliability of wireless power transfer.

David Blaauw named Kensall D. Wise Collegiate Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

Blaauw’s innovations in low-power computing led to development of the Michigan Micro Mote, the world’s smallest computer.

‘Green methane’ from artificial photosynthesis could recycle CO2

A catalyst on a solar panel can make methane, the main component of natural gas, with carbon dioxide, water and sunlight.

Beyond Moore’s Law: taking transistor arrays into the third dimension

Thin film transistors stacked on top of a state-of-the-art silicon chip could help shrink electronics while improving performance.

An even smaller world’s smallest ‘computer’

The latest from IBM and now the University of Michigan is redefining what counts as a computer at the microscale.

Michigan Micro Mote (M3) makes history as the world’s smallest computer

A brief history of what led to the technical feat known as the Michigan Micro Mote, a tiny speck of a computer that does it all.