Failure analysis and material diagnostics for microelectronics

In the Business Unit “Electronic Materials and Components” Fraunhofer IMWS analyzes components, systems and materials for electronics, such as integrated semiconductor circuits, sensors, and electronic components and assemblies. By means of comprehensive analyses and tests our goal is to understand the connection between technological production processes and operating conditions, the microstructural and material properties, as well as the functional properties which depend on these. To this end, we use complex, efficient methods, which include non-destructive analysis, high-resolution electron microscopy and solid-state spectroscopy methods, surface- and trace-analysis methods, as well as mechanical material characterization, modeling and numerical simulation.

Our work focuses on areas such as the microstructural process characterization during the introduction of innovative technologies, as well as rapid, customer-oriented identification failure modes and understanding of defect formations and degradation mechanisms. The results are incorporated into customers’ production processes, helping to increase the quality and reliability of the systems in their application.

Our customers and partners primarily come from the automotive electronics supply chain, but also from communications technology, the medical and consumer industry, power electronics for energy and industry technology, as well as material suppliers and tool suppliers for manufacturing, diagnostics and testing.


You can find an overview of our latest microelectronics projects here.





What sets us apart

  • Outstanding, comprehensive technical infrastructure and expertise in the area of microstructural and failure diagnostics, complemented by specific competences in the field of micromechanical testing and simulation
  • Many years of experience in failure diagnostics and an in-depth understanding of complex reliability issues with regard to material degradation and electrical faults
  • A distinctly customer-oriented way of working with a high level of flexibility and speed

Fraunhofer IMWS helps you to drive forward innovation more rapidly, achieving higher cost efficiency and supports you in improving your company’s competitiveness by bringing products to market faster. 

What you can expect

We support our partners by:

  • Accelerating the development of innovative material solutions and technologies
  • Qualifying new production processes for industrial usage
  • Ensuring optimum yields in serial production
  • Determining the causes of complex failure scenarios and degradation mechanisms
  • Ensuring that products have a long lifetime and reliability of products in use
  • Providing improved processes for material and failure diagnostics

Our partners benefit from increased, accelerated rates of innovation for their technologies and products, greater cost efficiency, faster market launches and therefore a better competitive position overall.

Research Topics


Automotive packaging



We understand operational and material-related reliability issues.


Material diagnostics for power electronics


We help to avoid reliability risks under high loading conditions!


Micromechanical testing and simulation


We help to better understand material behavior and failure mechanisms.


Package and Assembly


We understand materials - key to reliability and innovation.


Physical failure analysis


We optimize electronic components by identifying the root causes of failures. 


Non-destructive defect localization


We provide new methods and tools for non-destructive defect localization.


GaN-HEMT components


We help you develop robust GaN-HEMT components.