New methods for failure analysis of electronic components and systems

More reliability of electronic components and systems by reducing the failure rate along the value chain: With this goal, 75 partners from 14 European countries are working together under the leadership of Infineon Technologies AG in the research project "IREL 4.0". In it, the Fraunhofer IMWS is developing new concepts and methods for physical failure analysis and the creation of failure models.

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Accurately predicting the reliability and working live of photovoltaic and battery inverters

An efficient and reliable methodology for reliability and lifetime prediction of inverters for photovoltaic and battery storage applications will be developed by Fraunhofer IMWS together with partners in the project "Reliability Design".

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Reliable microelectronics through failure analysis with artificial intelligence

The use of machine learning methods offers novel possibilities for automating and thus increasing the efficiency of fault diagnostics of electronic components and systems. Together with partners, the Fraunhofer Institute for Microstructure of Materials and Systems IMWS in Halle (Saale) wants to pave the way for this.

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3D printed highly thermally conductive copper components as high-performance heatsinks

In a new project Fraunhofer Institute for Microstructure of Materials and Systems IMWS together with the copper semi-finished products manufacturer KME, are going to explore the use of additive manufacturing technologies for highly thermally conductive components made of copper and copper alloys.

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Michael Kögel from the Fraunhofer IMWS honored at ISTFA 2019

For his work “Machine learning assisted signal analysis in Acoustic Microscopy for non-destructive defect identification” Michael Kögel from the Fraunhofer Institute for the Microstructure of Materials and Systems IMWS in Halle (Saale) received the prize for the “Attendees‘ Best Paper” awarded by the international symposium ISTFA 2019 in Portland/USA.

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Power semiconductors made of gallium nitride can help improve energy efficiency

Energy-efficient chips based on the semiconductor material gallium nitride (GaN) are being developed by 26 partners from nine European countries in the project UltimateGaN. The Fraunhofer Institute for the Microstructure of Mate-rials and Systems IMWS in Halle (Saale) is one of the project’s partners, sharing its know-how in error diagnostics and the development of analytical methods. At a meeting held in Lausanne the project partners presented their first results.

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Sandy Klengel honored for an “Outstanding Paper” at the European Microelectronics and Packaging Conference EMPC

Sandy Klengel from the Fraunhofer Institute IMWS was honored for an “Outstanding Paper” at the European Microelectronics and Packaging Conference (EMPC) in Pisa. She received the award for her research into the effect of copper wire material on corrosion-resistant packaging and systems for high temperature applications, organized in cooperation with the Nippon Micrometal Corporation in Japan.

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Abriss Diagnostik Erkennung Ebene
© Fraunhofer IMWS
Cracking in a microchip contact, can only be detected under the microscope.

Our Business Unit “Electronic Materials and Components” investigates components, systems and materials of electronics and microsystem engineering, for example integrated semiconductor circuits, sensors, electronic components and assemblies. These are analyzed and tested comprehensively, in order to understand the relationship between technological process and application conditions  with microstructure and material properties as well as with the affected functional performance in detail. For the benefit of our costumers, we master complex, powerful methods that include non-destructive analytics, high-resolution methods of electron microscopy and solid-state spectroscopy, surface and trace analysis methods, and mechanical material characterization that includes modeling and numerical simulation.

Major areas of our work are the process characterization on a microstructural level complementing the introduction of innovative technologies as well as the fast and client-focused root cause analysis of faults and of defect formation. The results are incorporated into the clients’ manufacturing processes and thus help to increase the quality and reliability of these systems.

Our clients and partners are mainly from the automotive electronics supplier chain, but also from communications technology, the optics, medical and consumer industry, power electronics for energy and industrial engineering and the segment of equipment suppliers for microstructure diagnostics and testing.


In our research projects with partners from industry or publicly funded projects we investigate electronic components along the entire production chain from wafer to the assembly in the end application.

Semiconductor wafers and chips (IC, sensors, power electronics, optoelectronics) of Si technologies, GaN and SiC

Materials and components of packaging and connection technology, power electronics modules

Electronic assemblies and systems, e.g. in automobile applications


Our services are focused on:

Process characterization by means of microstructural analysis in electronics development, especially supporting the introduction of innovative systems engineering and new materials

Complex failure diagnostics for field returns, tracking of causes of faults in qualification or in production

Further development of methods, equipments and procedures for quality control, testing and defect analysis