© Slejven Djurakovic-Unsplash / Padlock free icon: Flaticon.com, Montage: Fraunhofer IMWS
Um Elektronik sicher und zuverlässig einzusetzen, muss man nachvollziehen können, was sie macht und wie sie aufgebaut ist.

Networking platform for trustworthy electronics

In order to use electronics safely and reliably, it must be possible to trace where they come from, whether they function properly and that no backdoors for so-called hardware Trojans are built in. The platform project "Velektronik", in which the Fraunhofer Institute for Microstructure of Materials and Systems IMWS in Halle (Saale) is involved, aims to develop new solution concepts for all areas of electronics development and manufacturing.

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Arbeitsplatz im Elektronenmikroskopielabor

Detecting security vulnerabilities on the nanoscale

Modern life and ongoing digitization depend crucially on electronic systems. Spectacular cyber attacks in the past have shown the vulnerability of such systems. The Fraunhofer Institute for Microstructure of Materials and Systems IMWS is getting to the bottom of risks together with the Security in Telecommunications department of the Technische Universität Berlin.

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Ultraschallmikroskopie Elektronik
© Fraunhofer IMWS
Im Projekt werden unter anderem Methoden der akustischen Mikroskopie zur Fehlerdiagnostik genutzt.

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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PV Wechselrichter Lebensdauer
© SMA Solar Technology AG
Die Stromerzeugung mit Photovoltaik (hier eine Freifeldanlage mit Batterieanbindung in Templin) könnte durch neue Methoden zur Lebensdauervorhersage günstiger werden.

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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Lock-In-Thermographie Mikroelektronik
© Fraunhofer IMWS
Zerstörungsfreie Diagnostikmethoden wie die Lock-In Thermographie sind einer der Schwerpunkte im Projekt.

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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© KME Germany
Mit Laser-Powder-Bed-Fusion (LPBF) gefertigte Kühlkörperstrukturen aus Kupfer

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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Mann präsentiert vor Publikum
© ASM InternationalFraunhofer
Beim International Symposium for Testing and Failure Analysis (ISTFA) in Portland wur-den insgesamt sechs Preise verliehen.

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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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