IMM is presently carrying out twenty different work packages of the project “Microelectronics, Sensors and Microsystems” coordinated by the “Materials and Devices” Department of CNR. The research activity is focused on innovative solutions for microelectronics (materials and processing for sub-32 nm CMOS and non volatile memory technologies; materials, processes and devices for advanced power electronics; large area and plastic-based electronics; novel photovoltaic applications, …), sensing technology, optoelectronic microsystems, and microfluidics. Thanks to the participation to many European projects, IMM benefit from collaboration with prestigious international research government institutions, such us Laboratoire d'Electronique de Technologie et d'Instrumentation (LETI), Interuniversity MicroElectronics Center (IMEC), European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF), Centro Nacional de Microelecrónica (CNM), and with a lot of top-level semiconductors companies, such us STMicroelectronics (ST), Philips, SILVACO, AMD, Tower Semiconductor, Siemens, ...
IMM activity extends from basic research (investigation of innovative materials and processes) to technological concern (prototyping and/or technological transfer to enterprises). Particularly effective is the collaboration with ST and Numonix within a national framework of promoting excellence in microelectronics. Furthermore, the IMM research groups carry out an important linking role by coordinating the graduate training scheme of young researchers coming from University. It should be underlined that the strong interaction with enterprises does not prevent, but often promotes the development of fundamental research activity. Indeed, the strong competitive fields of microelectronics requires to handle “aggressive” and ambitious research programs whose results may produce only long-time practical applications. For this reason the Institute holds strong interest in all the emerging fields arisen from nanotechnologies which open the door to many innovative, not necessarily pure electronic applications.
The industrial current challenges are also considered for defining the IMM research programs. Within this context the Institute has launched the start-up of two public-private laboratories: the first joined with ST for the development of plastic-based electronics (PLAST_ICs); the second with ETC SRL for the development of innovative processes for the production of silicon-carbide-based materials (SiCiLab). Furthermore IMM is intensively involved in many projects coordinated by the enterprises, funded by the Italian Ministry for the Economic Development (“Industria 2015” call) or by the Italian Ministry for University and Research ("Programma Operativo Nazionale Ricerca e Competitività 2007-2013").
Last but not least, various IMM activities are supported by Sicilia, Emilia Romagna, Puglia, and Campania regions in Italy. These initiatives go well beyond the pure economic sustain. Indeed, these regional organisms have started an analytical process aimed to identify the research demand necessary to further develop the territorial economic activities; a number of Technological Districts have been hence established, joined with the Italian Ministry for University and Research. IMM is member of the Technological Districts “Micro and Nanosystems” in Sicily and “Hi-MECH (high mechanic technology)” in Emilia Romagna.