ELECTRONIC 

    METAMATERIALS 

    & DEVICES 

    GROUP 




      Manipulating Ferroelectric Materials 

      Towards Sustainable Microelectronics


ABOUT US

Suraj Cheema is starting as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering (DMSE) and the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS) in 2024. 

Suraj is currently a Principal Investigator in MIT's Research Laboratory for Electronics (RLE)

GOAL

Addressing Grand Challenges in Energy Consumption-Storage-Generation for Sustainable Microelectronics

We aim to address energy grand challenges - particularly the exponential rise in global energy consumption from computing, artifical intelligence (AI) and Internet-of-Things (IoT) devices

from a microelectronics perspective, leveraging collective electronic phenomena, engineered at the unit cell level. 

Towards making an impact on technology, our research focuses on manipulating novel-yet-simple CMOS materials towards lab-to-fab translation of electronic devices that demonstrate unprecedented performance.

More Moore

Energy demand from computing has been increasing much faster than the world's energy production; at this rate, in 20 years, computing will require more electricity than the world can generate; novel energy-efficient computing paradigms are required 

More than Moore

The exponential rise of IoT smart devices (approaching 1 trillion) and energy/heat dissipation in modern microchips demand innovations in self-powered nanotechnologies - spanning rechargeable energy storage, energy harvesting, & power delivery - integrated on-chip

Sustainable Microelectronics

3D integration of energy-efficient electronics (computing, memory, AI hardware), energy technologies (energy storage + harvesting, thermal management, power delivery) & sensors on-chip for autonomous data processing i.e. from Cloud to Edge Intelligence

energy-efficient electronics

exploiting collective electronic phenomena

energy-autonomous electronics

ubiquitous self-powered smart devices

edge electronics

3D-integrated compute+storage+energy+sensing micro-AI-engines

Lab-to-Fab

Translate microelectronics hardware discoveries to government & commercial semiconductor foundries

next-generation electronics

from experimental university research to wafer-scale production

APPROACH

Designing Emergent (Negative) Electronic Phenomena in Atomically-Engineered Composite Materials & Integration into CMOS Technology

We are an interdisciplinary group at the intersection of materials science, condensed matter physics, and nanoelectronics to realize the applied impact of electronic metamaterials.

Rather than exploring the entire periodic table, we focus on manipulating simple materials in today's mass production microelectronics  to accelerate the technological adoption of novel electronic devices.

Materials Science

atomic-scale engineering

Inversion symmetry breaking & phase transitions

Atomic-layer thin films, superlattices, metastable polymorphs 

Condensed Matter 

emergent (negative) electronic phenomena

Building blocks: collective electronic order, phase transitions

Negative responses: capacitance, piezoelectricity, compressibility

Nanoelectronics

on-chip computing & energy technologies

Computing: logic transistors, nonvolatile memory, AI hardware

Energy: energy storage & harvesting capacitors, power delivery

RESEARCH HIGHLIGHTS

Harnessing FerroElectronics at the Atomic Scale 

Re-imagining electronic materials
Engineering emergent collective electronic order and negative electronic phenomena in otherwise ordinary dielectrics

Cheema et al Nature 2020 | Cheema et al Science 2022 


Lab-to-Fab

Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology (SAIT) confirmation of ultrathin ferroelectricity in HfO2-ZrO2 on Si

ACS AMI 2021 | Nature Electronics 2023

Re-imaginging the transistor
From high-k dielectrics to negative-k ferroelectrics 

for ultra-low power transistor operation

Cheema et al Nature 2022


Lab-to-Fab

U.S. R&D Foundry confirmation & integration of my NC gate stack into their Defense Foundry transistor technology: IEDM 2022

Samsung Electronics and SAIT confirmation & integration of my NC gate stack into their FinFET technology: Nature Electronics 2023

Intel highlighted my NC technology as a future for energy-efficient computing in their 75th anniversary of the transistor: Science 2022

Re-imagining the battery
From electrochemical to electrostatic energy storage

for ultrahigh density and ultrafast charging capacitors

Cheema et al Nature 2024


Lab-to-Fab

U.S. R&D Foundry confirmation & integration of my NC energy storage stack into their 3D trench capacitor process: Nature 2024

The Pentagon invitation to present this energy storage technology to US military decision-makers at the Pentagon DARPA Demo Day 2023

RESEARCH AREAS

New Paradigms for Electronic Materials & Devices

Materials Design

Electronic Metamaterials for Microelectronics

(i) Unprecedented electronic properties via negative electronic phenomena (e.g. negative capacitance) stabilized in composite systems with collective electronic order (e.g. ferroelectricity) 

(ii) Accelerated Lab-to-Fab translation by stabilizing such novel phenomena in CMOS-compatible materials

Computing & Memory

More Moore: Energy-Efficient Electronics

(i) From high-k dielectrics to negative-k ferroelectrics for advanced logic transistors 

(ii) From defective (ionic) to collective (ferroic) phenomena for energy-efficient and area-efficient nonvolatile memory and analog artificial intelligence (AI) hardware 

Energy & Power

More than Moore: Energy-Autonomous Electronics

(i) From electrochemical to electrostatic energy storage for on-chip ultracapacitors and power delivery

(ii) From thermoelectric to pyroelectric thermal-energy conversion for on-chip energy harvesting and thermal management

TOOLBOX

Atoms to Devices

Materials-by-Design Synthesis

To stabilize emergent phenomena beyond the standard unit cell, we utilize Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD) to manufacture hierarchical “super-cells”. ALD, used in today's microelectronics, deposits atomically-precise films across large-area substrates to enable large-scale integration and facilitate Lab-to-Fab translation.

Thin Film Characterization

To understand the microscopic origins underlying electronic metamaterials, we employ (i) synchrotron x-rays (diffraction, spectroscopy, microscopy), (ii) microscopy (electron, scanning probe), and (iii) transport (ultrafast, cryogenic, etc) at National Laboratories, MIT facilities, and in-house setups.

Electronic Devices

To realize enhanced performance derived from emergent symmetry-broken phenomena, we integrate electronic metamaterials into relevant device structures (e.g. capacitors, transistors)  fabricated (i) in-house at MIT.nano (ii) next-door at MIT Lincoln Laboratory and (iii) in collaboration with semiconductor industries.