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Ideas for new topics - what's new that isn't in the other 9 topics?


What topic involving novel collaborations between scientists and engineers has made new technologies possible? Why are these technologies important?
Specific ideas for a project should not be submitted. What is needed are general ideas that could launch a new research community of scientists and engineers who would work together to reach a common goal.

Please make sure to provide the following information when submitting your idea for a new topic:

  • Title of your idea
  • Keywords
  • Scientific and Technological Topics to be addressed?

    Guiding questions:
•    What does this topic address?
•    What is the state-of-the-art and what are the main scientific and technological challenges and opportunities for frontier research that need to be tackled in the next 5-10 years in this area?
•    Which disciplines are involved?
•    What would be the critical mass of European researchers needed to carry out research in this area? What is the current situation?
•    How is this topic related to recent breakthroughs?
•    Why is this research needed now (or when would it be needed)?

  • Why is this topic important?

Possible examples could include:
•    tackling the great societal challenges (e.g. global warming, tightening supplies of energy, ageing of society etc.)?
•    solving key technological problems
•    potential contribution to EU growth
•    maintain EU leading role in the field
•    essential role to boost EU innovation…
•    etc…

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Luca Gammaitoni's picture

Proposal for new FET proactive topics.

• Title: Zero-power computers
• Keywords: ICT-Energy, energy efficiency, low-power computation, beyond CMOS, heat dissipation

• Scientific and Technological Topics to be addressed:
It is a known fact that the amount of power dissipated into heat during computation is becoming the main limitation toward the realization of new and more powerful computers. The discussion on the development of High performance computing initiative identified the reduction of energy dissipated as one of the two strategic challenges for the future in the field. On the other hand the realization of wireless micro sensors that can be deployed in numbers is presently hold by the gap between how much energy is available from portable sources (batteries and/or energy harvesting technologies) and how much energy is required for their functioning.

State of the art approaches are based in incremental improvements in the energy efficiency of microprocessors realized with existing technology. Improving efficiency on the scale of fractional points will help saving some energy but will not change the future of ICT. In fact, this issue can be addressed at different levels, from application software down to the hardware layer: basic switches in integrated circuits. In the past a general call has been issued. Now, in order to produce radical changes, more specific focus is needed.

Focus on the basic hardware. We need radically new ideas on how to design computing devices that can be operated without energy dissipation. Recent advances in nanoscale technology and non-equilibrium thermodynamics indicate that this is conceptually possible. How to make it happen is still an open issue.

FET proactive initiative should address this very point by challenging researchers to design, realize and test actual computing micro-devices that can be operated below the KT scale of energy. Proposals for novel information-carriers beyond electrons in semiconductors could be privileged. The FET proactive initiative could be in the form of a challenge to demonstrate figure of merits pre-defined by the call.

Disciplines involved in this topic, range from nanotechnology to solid state physics, from non-equilibrium thermodynamics to information theory, form opto-electronics to mems design. The scientific background required to address this challenge is associated with the study of the energy transformation processes at micro and nano scales.

In this field Europe is in competition with USA and Japan.
USA has recently funded the Center for Energy Efficient Electronic Science (E3S), with the scope of addressing the energy efficiency of basic logic switch elements and the short-to-medium range communication of information between logic elements.
In Japan research and development of Ultra-low Power Spintronics-based VLSIs, is granted by the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) through the “Funding Program for World-Leading Innovative R&D on Science and Technology (FIRST Program).
In Europe we developed a significant activity in the broad field of energy efficiency (see e.g. the C.A. ICT-Energy with 10 European partners involved), however we still miss a specific initiative focused on the very topic of micro and nanoscale devices for zero-power computation.

This topic is very timely due to the increasing pressure of the semiconductor industry that is facing the wall of excess heat dissipation and to recent advances in theoretical and experimental physics where Landauer principle has been put under test and nanoscale energy measurement are demonstrated possible.

This topic is clearly important for a number of strategic objectives:
- It addresses 2 key technological problems: 1) how to make more powerful computers viable. 2) how to make autonomous wireless sensors possible.
- It tackles the great social challenge of providing solution for the ubiquitous computing scenario in a “smart city” environment.
- It contributes to reducing the ICT carbon footprint and the general energy consumption.

0 users have voted.
Greet Bilsen's picture

I really think the topic of zero-power computers is an important one in order to have concepts like 'Smart Cities' and personalised; continuous follow-up of Health & Well-being being able to become a reality. Indeed the amount of power consumed by today's devices is still too large, to have small 'sensors' work 'infinitely' without needing to change batteries.
The aspect of finding new solutions for reducing power consumption in such small devices with some orders of magnitude is a challenging topic that certainly needs attention. Although instead of limiting the zero-power quest to 'computing' devices only, as I have the impression is done in the proposal, I believe we have to look at it into a broader context and not only look at the "computing" parts of such sensing devices but also the actual "sensing" and " communication" parts and the way they can interact intelligently. I'm convinced a lot can be achieved by introducing new groundbreaking technologies in each of such subsystems (so more than in the computing part only), and that one can go even one step further by bringing together these improvements into "systems" that can be enhanced with some intelligence to make use of that zero-power hardware in the most efficient way (also integrating it with energy harvesting technology)

69 users have voted.
Jan Haagh's picture

I very much second this opition. With the number of wireless sensors around us growing year over year, the use of batteries is unwanted (maintenance and environmental issues). Zero-power electronics and systems become a necesety. Energy harvesting and wireless energy transmer are, together with zero-power electronics, technology directions that need focussed attention.

45 users have voted.
Olivier Sentieys's picture

I strongly support the topic of zero-power computers. It offers many opportunities for basic research as well as for innovation, applied research and, most importantly, industry transfer and entrepreneurship.

29 users have voted.
Peter Ramm's picture

For these extreme low power applications the performance advantages of 3D integration is absolutely needed: E.g. Samsung compared conventional PoP solution with equivalent 3D solution and concluded that 3D integration offers a 50% reduction in power consumption, an increase of a factor 8 in bandwidth and of course a considerable reduction in package size (Handbook of 3D Integration, vol. 3 (June, 2014)). 3D heterogeneous integration is as well the enabler technology (of course with new challenges there) for combining new ''nano'' materials and devices with more traditional technology in a compact system. And concerning the European key application sensors: there are high growth areas expected, in particular wireless sensor system for the IoT, with the need of 3D heterogeneous sensor/IC products !

32 users have voted.
Denis Flandre's picture

To my opinion, truly autonomous wireless sensor networks with low carbon footprint appear as a (the ?) major and challenge and big-impact opportunity to collect data and efficiently manage the very complex systems of our global world, such as cities, buildings, plants, transportation, ... environment at large, to save energy and improve healthcare and well-being. Let's not miss that real big-benefit application of the emerging IoT !

0 users have voted.
Christian Piguet's picture

It is in my opinion the most interesting and mandatory topic to be capable of reducing the power consumption of computing for many portable devices connected to the cloud and to scavenge energy from the environment. As everything becoming connected including objects (IoT), this will be for sure the global system in which we will live for the rest of our life. No doubt that we will have many applications for e-health, security, education, etc... but the key point is energy. So we have to take this problem very seriously, by searching for new ways to scavenge enough energy and to reduce by a factor of 1000X the energy necessary for computation, communication and for sensing.

0 users have voted.
Jan Madsen's picture

I fully support this view and the visions of where it can bring us. The computing part is crucial in achieving smart/intelligent devices and systems, but also the integration of more technologies (the more than Moore concept) is important and challenging under a zero-power heading! This include integration of microfluidic biochip technologies and biological interfaces.

23 users have voted.
Dominique Thomas's picture

I fully support this topic. As the previous commenters noted, there are several (5 to 8) orders of magnitude to win in the energy efficiency of our information systems, entering into the so called "Internet of things" or ubiquitous intelligence era. Gaining this ability will revolutionize our ability to devise cyberphysical systems and systems of CPS.

30 users have voted.
Dominique Thomas's picture

I fully support this topic. As the previous commenters noted, there are several (5 to 8) orders of magnitude to win in the energy efficiency of our information systems, entering into the so called "Internet of things" or ubiquitous intelligence era. Gaining this ability will revolutionize our ability to devise cyberphysical systems and systems of CPS.

38 users have voted.
John Gallagher's picture

I support this proposal and agree on its importance. I would just like to add one further aspect, which is the software dimension. The amount of energy consumed by an application is significantly influenced by the software, regardless of how energy efficient the hardware is. Developing energy-efficient software for a given hardware platform is not yet a well-understood problem. It requires that the developer has a clear understanding of the energy profile of an application before it is actually executed on the hardware. This depends on research on analysis of code with respect to an accurate energy model of the underlying hardware, which may be probabilistic and dependent on a number of variables. Preliminary understanding of energy models for simple processors exists, but much research is needed to extend such models to all computers from pervasive systems to supercomputers.

0 users have voted.
Jose Ayala's picture

I fully support this view and the visions of where it can bring us. The computing part is crucial in nowadays systems and there many approaches to be followed and researched in order to achieve effective zero-power computation.

0 users have voted.
Jacek Tylenda's picture

Proposal for new FET proactive topics

Title: Elevating city transport from the ground
Keywords: lightweight aircraft, personal aircraft, electric multicopter, city transportation, flying car idea

This topic is based on the idea of a "flying car" which is tens years old, and this is not a joke. It is a known fact that living in the city is unambiguously connected with wasting time in traffic jams, which affects the quality of life. Why not to follow the kids' dream about the "flying car" and adjust it to the current state of the art in technology? There has been several ideas introduced in recent years to reduce traffic problems especially in large cities, like for example small, one person and lightweight electric cars, or the policy solutions to ban or reduce traffic in strict city centers. Most of these solutions have not led to any improvement and everyone can see the problem constantly increases in fact. And the other fact is there is not enough space on the ground to contain the growing number of ground vehicles. The logic solution to this is to elevate the city transport from the ground, like from 2D to 3D, from surface to volume.

- several attempts to build a "flying car" itself
- several attempts to build a "jetpack"
- several attmepts to build a personal multicopter:

The rapid development of multicopter technologies in the recent years is the key factor in the idea of elevating city transport from the ground. Further development of the technologies involved may lead to succesful designs of small lightweight personal city aircrafts.

Scientific and technological challenges:
- Traffic organization and control in 3-dimensional space
- Miniaturization of multicopters by electric motor efficiency increase and mass reduction, battery power density increase, further supercapacitors development
- Architecture novelty solutions in cities, starting/landing areas, building infrastructure, charging stations, parking infrastructure
- Legal solutions: licenses, insurance, training
- Safety aspects, technological safety solutions, traffic solutions

Topic importance key issues:

- Improving the quality of life thanks to fast city transportation "door-to-door".
- Reducing emissions due to traffic jams reduction.
- Rapid development of several technologies, boosting innovation in several fields.
- Bringing back the Europe's world leading position and image.

And once again, this is not a joke.

0 users have voted.
Didier Theron's picture

Title: Nanofluidics technology for future generations of devices.

Keyword: fluidics, nanoscale, biology, chemistry, ict

Microfluidic technology has taken off ten years ago and is continuously progressing. New materials, methodologies, architectures, surface treatments are constantly invented. However, microfluidic technology is not yet mature and needs support for its development per se.
Handling fluids at the micro/nanoscale requires to think in a new framework, in which all aspects of fluid behaviour must be taken into account (hydrodynamics, surface chemistry, interfaces, rheology, transport properties,…), which also means a new framework will be needed for (industrial) applications. New micro/nanofluidic phenomena are constantly discovered. Micronanofluidics shares concepts with many fields (physics, biology, chemistry, nanotechnology,…), but cannot be reduced to a subtopics of any of them. For these reasons, microfluidics occupies a specific place in the landscape of science and technology.
Today microfluidics has applications in many areas: printer heads chips for the analysis of DNA samples, complex chemical and biochemical analysis lab-on chips, commercial DNA sequencers, chemical engineering, chemical synthesis, analytical chemistry or in the electronic industry for the thermal control of high density electronic chips. Micronanofluidics will impact a considerable number of industrial areas in chemical engineering industry, biomedicine, cosmetics, food industry, digital display, electronics, oil industry, printing industry, The total microfluidic market is currently estimated to 5.1 B$/year for 2013, with a prevision of 10.4 B$/year in 2017
At the nanoscale some interesting unintuitive properties may appear. For instance, the Reynolds number can become very low and fluids, when side-by-side, do not necessarily mix in the traditional sense molecular transport between them must often be through diffusion. Handling nanofluidics with innovative functionalities (capillaries, valves, functionalized surfaces, flexible materials…) and understanding the physical phenomena at the nanoscale may bring a new set of innovative devices, with the possibility to handle very small quantity of fluidic materials.

0 users have voted.
Patrick Tabeling's picture

Microfluidics is a new technology that allows to manipulate fluids at the microscale, like nature does. Having the capability to handle fluids at the microscale offers new, outstanding opportunities for research and industry. Microfluidics is not restricted to lab on a chip technology. It concerns many supports on which fluids flow at the microscale, paper, capillaries, microsclits, CNT for developing functionalities in the fields of diagnostics, energy, chemical synthesis,.... This is new science, strongly innovative, competitive, disruptive, that should attract very seriously the attention and the support of the European Community.
It is important to be active now because tomorrow will be too late. Breakthroughs are done now. In material sciences for instance, where microfluidics has the capacity to synthesize photonic band gap materials, with important applications in optoelectronics, computer field. In diagnostics, where cost reduction brought by microfluidics may change the medicine policies undertaken by developed countries. Etc... There are many examples that show that breakthroughs are coming, and reacting later than now will lead Europe to loose an important technological battle.

0 users have voted.
Alle Van Meeteren's picture

Keywords: human computer interaction, code systems, symbols, standard keyboard,

The alphabet and the decimal number system are in use as code systems to interact with the computer, viz. the qwerty-keyboard, but these code systems are designed for other purposes then human interaction with a computer. This project will explore the potency of code systems especially designed for the interaction with computers. These code systems are based on the binary code system.

The hexadecimal code system is the inspiration for this FET Proactive topic. This hexadecimal code system is based on the binary code system, which use is to describe the status of the computer. The primary use of the hexadecimal code system is also to describe the status of the computer, in a compact way. The hexadecimal code system is expressed in alphanumerical symbols, replacing four binary symbols. The research starts with the hypothesis that a code system with its own symbols and with more symbols than the alphanumerical code will perform better than the alphanumerical code as code to instruct the computer.

The structure of the standard keyboard is complex. The structure of a keyboard based on the proposed larger binary related code system will be logical and simpler. There is only one way to select an alpha-numerical code, namely by direct selection, but a code from a binary related code system can be selected indirectly also, by using the code of a smaller binary related code system.

This possibility makes this larger binary related code system important for people who have to use Augmentative and Alternative Communication (people with disabilities). They can use smaller sets of codes to express the larger code. Implementation of the smaller sets in small devices is also a promising use. One possible application is that the codes of this code system have graphical representation around links on the web or other computer instructions. In that way, it will change the interaction with the web or applications in a fundamental way. The use of the computer-mouse will be experienced as cumbersome. There is only one point a user can activate and he had to manipulate that point.

On this moment research on computer interaction is focused on analogue methods, as speech and gestures. The proposed research will investigate discrete methods. Braille and Morse are known alternatives for the alphanumerical code system. This topic can result in a code system with equal importance for humanity as a whole, but at least for people with a handicap. The code system can lead to a revision of the standard keyboard. This will generate a stream of innovations.

Developing a new user friendly code system based on the binary code, is a big challenge for scientists and philosophers, for Europe and for mankind. Such a code system can be the next step in the digital revolution. The code system will be supra national, having its fundament in the binary code, although its introduction will be a social challenge for Europe.

We have an idea how this code will look like. The basic code will be quaternary. Three items of this basic code will form a symbol in a 64-code. Living nature uses the same algoritme, according to the theory of genetics (Messenger RNA). Is this a formal ordering of information, based on thoughts about human-computer interaction, that will become general?

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Stefano Maci's picture

Keywords: Electromagnetism, Photonics, Multiscale, Multiphysics, Quantum dynamics, Metamaterials, Metasurfaces, Artificial electromagnetic materials, coupled state variables, Ballistic,

• Scientific and Technological Topics to be addressed
Nanoarchitectronics is a new paradigm gathering recently both industrial and academic environments. It brings Electronics, Photonics, Material Science, Solid State, Quantumand Condensed Matter Physics, Chemistry under the same umbrella. The main objective is to overarch future researches in Electromagnetism from Microwaves to Optics through a visionary and synergic approach which is grounded on the extraordinary light-matter interactions at nanoscale We can subdivide nanoarchitectronics in four subthemes, which are nevertheless related to each other.

1) Extreme-Scale Electromagnetics (EXEM)
2) Metatronics (MTX)
3) Nanoscale Light-Microwaves Interaction (NLMI)
4) Smart Quantum Electromagnetic Materials (SQUEM)

The analytical and design modelling framework which transversely incorporates these branches are denoted here, respectively, as Multiscale Quantum Electrodynamics and System Architecture by Design:

A. “Multiscale Quantum Electrodynamics” (MQE) has the objective to unify quantum dynamics and classical electrodynamics on electronics, atomistic, mesoscopic and continuous scale.
B. “System Architecture by Design”(SAD), is the innovative engineering paradigm which is aimed at the task-oriented definition and integration of design approaches for optimal system fabrication, control, and deployment.

The new area is multidisciplinary, including Engineering, Physics and Mathematics, with emphasis on the following areas: Microelectronics, Optoelectronics, Antennas, Microwaves, Metamaterials, TeraHertz, Infrared, Plasmonics, Photonics, Magnetism, Superconductivity Material Science, and Mathematical Modeling.

In the following, the areas associated with each branch as well as with the transversal theoretical and design modeling framework are defined.

1. Extreme Scale EM (EXEM) comprises all concepts and devices borrowed from radiofrequencies to TeraHertz and nanoscale, as, for instance, nanoantennas (single emitters and/or arrays), novel transmission lines, nanoconnections, extreme miniaturized cavities and filters, antenna coupling with quantum well infrared photodetectors (QWIP), single photon emitters and quantum cascade detectors (QCD), single photon emitters, superconducting quantum interference devices (SQUID) and multi-SQUIDs (SQIF). These issues merge classical concepts in antennas and microwaves with emerging areas like metasurfaces and nanostructured material science. The recent literature on this subject is mainly used to concentrate field beyond diffraction limit through nanoantennas or to enhance the efficiency of solar received power; however, exploring the potential of radiofrequency concepts in a broader sense may open a large variety of application possibilities. Many fields are unexplored or weakly investigated, like nano beam-forming networks, monoatomic edge-wave propagation, leaky-wave miniaturized antennas.

2. Metatronics (MTX).
This name has been very recently introduced by Prof. N. Engheta at UPenn with reference to the emulation of lumped circuit elements at optical wavelengths. The same name can be now referred to a broader collection of concepts to bringing a new dimension to metamaterial research, which has consistently been gaining success over the last ten-fifteen years. Metatronics includes a number of new emerging research directions, further to the original ones proposed by Prof. Engheta, like i. modulated and reconfigurable nano-scale metasurfaces, ii. transforming artificial materials, iii. fluid-tunable materials, iv. unconventional paths to non-reciprocal materials, v. computational metamaterials, vi. disordered materials for enhanced light-matter interaction and other metamaterial inspired subjects merging electronics and reconfigurability into metamaterial concepts. For what concerns i., nanoscaled metasurfaces have been recently introduced (by Prof. Capasso’s group at Harward) to arbitrary transform a given wavefront in a different one. The natural extension of this concept is to reconfigure the wavefront transformation dynamically, concept already feasible at microwave frequencies using conventional electronics. A proper modification of Transformation Optics (ii.), the recent theory introduced by Prof. J Pendry (Imperial College), could provide an appropriate theoretical framework to drive these issues. Considering iv. and v., Andrea Alù’s group at the University of Texas at Austin has lead a very recent and highly innovative collaborative research demonstrating a. non-reciprocal artificial materials based on spatiotemporal modulation of the electromagnetic constitutive parameters and b. optical analog signal processing based on proper metamaterial multilayers, respectively.

3. Nanoscale Light-microwaves interaction (NLMI)
This subject is concerned with the reconfigurability control of radiofrequency devices with light-matter interaction at nanoscale. Some aspects can be related to point 4; however, the substantial difference is that the final system operating frequency bandwidth remains in microwave domain, but its operation is enabled by light-matter interaction.
As a leading example, Microwave Photo-Conductive Switches (MPCS) have been widely studied to perform high speed switching, modulation, generation and sampling of microwave signals by photoconductivity but with important insertion losses. Performances compromises justify semiconductor material choice with regards to optical wavelength operation from visible to near-infrared and sub-nanosecond activation time, as for example with use of mature technologies based on Si and GaAs materials. Up today, best performances in terms of microwave On/Off ratio have been obtained using membrane GaAs substrate and sub-micronic architecture. Actually, emerging nanotechnologies dedicated to 1D and 2D materials process allow suggestion of design innovations in both microwave and light/matter interaction, as also nanomaterial engineering, high degree of confinement of waves, immunity to EMI and ultimate miniaturization are reachable. This multiphysics approach suggests the possibility of achieving ultrafast nanoscale microwave devices integration in future telecommunication systems.
Radiofrequency devices of such a type could be i. phased aperture antennas, ii. reconfigurable metasurfaces, iii. arrays, iv. microstrips, coplanar waveguides, slot-lines and other microwaves transmission lines. In all these devices, the metallo/dielectric features should contain photosensitive material and can be even extended to superconductive/dielectric or superconductive/graphene hybrid material. These materials, subjected to controlled light beams, should be able with a good sensitivity to change the properties of the radio-frequency propagation/radiation. With this, one can create i. ultra-flat scanning beam aperture antennas (with flatness and cost like a LCD TV), ii. ultrafast optical switches and iii reconfigurable beam forming networks. With the same method one can modulate microwave printed metasurfaces transforming surface wave in leaky-waves. The involved mechanism requires the analysis of quantum dynamic effects as well as the classical electromagnetic phenomena and their complex mutual interaction within a homogenized models. Light-matter interactions at nanoscale opens new avenues for controlling nanosystems as material non linearities are exalted. Multiscale approaches are required from macroscopic down to the submicrometer scale at which elementary excitations such as photons, electrons, phonons and atoms and communicate to each others via energy transfer, thus guaranteeing the multifunctionality of a new generation of 3D high frequency systems.

4. Smart Quantum Electromagnetic Materials (SQEM)

The discovery of novel 1D-2D materials has recently attracted intense attention in the research community due to their extraordinary mechanical, electronic and optical properties.
In particular, carbon materials, (carbon nanotubes, graphene) are quoted to enable device, circuits, system competitive and compatible with the established silicon technology, ranging from microwave to THz, offering new capabilities, lower power consumption, enhanced electro-thermal-mechanical properties and novel functionalities.
Work in this area paves the way to related developments that utilize other 2D materials such as chalcogenides, germananes, silicenes, metal oxides and hexagonal boron nitrides. Possibilities exist for designing devices that utilize a combination of materials rather than isolated 2D crystals to satisfy diverse requirements ranging from insulator to direct bandgap properties. Their heterostructures provide further enhancement in device properties and design flexibility. Exceptionally good performance is expected from a novel “stacked” electronics involving graphene and 2D materials in terms of carrier mobility, transconductance, band-gap, stability.
A further intriguing aspect of novel 2D-materials is the onset of non-linear properties, arising from the Dirac cone band structure, thus providing their use in novel concept circuits such as frequency multipliers. 2D-2D tunneling devices may lead to novel low-power electronic applications. Negative Differential Resistance may also offer the possibility of developing new signal sources.
Nanoarchitectronics could be oriented first to microwave technology and then, if successful, be brought to a level of maturity suitable for industrial product development integrating several disruptive smart materials (such as 2D and 1D materials) components to design and fabricate a new kind of ultra-high frequency module. According to the International Technology Roadmap for Semiconductors (ITRS) 2D and 1D materials are among the most recent and promising materials with emphasis on their potential in microwave and millimeter wave electronics. Moreover, progress in 2D and 1D materials technology will have wide ranging impacts not only for RF components, but for other nano-electronic applications. 1D carbon nanotubes are also used for vias, heat transfer materials, electrodes and field emitters for displays, microwave amplifiers and electron microscopes. 2D materials are candidates for transistors, ballistic transport based devices, ultra high speedoptoelectronics, interconnects and sensors. Hence, all these areas will benefit from research at the interfaces of the areas covered by nanoarchitectronics, which may lead to technology for next-next generation of RF switches and resonators.

Most Nanoarchitectronics development is hindered not only by technology limitations but also by the limited availability of modeling and design tools that should encompass a wide range of spatial and time scales, with accuracy compared to that of available experimental and process data, and within affordable computational resources. For this reason, robust theoretical/ computational tools should be set up in the frame of Nanoarchitectronics as suggested below.

A. “Multiscale Quantum Electrodynamics” (MQE)

This definition identifies the general analytical and modeling framework of Nanoarchitecronics. The apparent contradiction of the words Quantum and Electrodynamic together emphasizes the need to integrate different theories. The goal of the MQE platform is to bridge the gap between nano-science theoretical foundations and the implementation of advanced numerical tools for the investigation, modeling and design of a new generation of integrated, smart, multi-functional devices, circuits and systems, while extending it in the modern tools for electromagnetic analysis based on Maxwell’s equations. The concepts of i) interfacing different phenomena and/or ii) extending the space-time scales of single models are a priori undertaken, thus providing a new paradigm of model, aimed at investigating the border region a) from ballistic to non-ballistic, b) from nano- to the mm-scale, c) from electronic/atomistic/meso-scale level to continuum partial differential equations (PDE) level, d) from linear to non-linear responses.
The computational platform deals with the full-wave modeling of the combined quantum transport-electrodynamics phenomena in nano-structured materials and low dimensional systems, ranging from atomistic and nanoscale, to mesoscopic and continuous scale.
In the short/medium-term, it will also include PDE systems governing: i) thermal effect and heat transfer, ii) mechanical and opto-mechanical phenomena (phonon-photon interaction) iii) analysis of time transients in the describing the behavior of high energy carriers, iv) onset and prediction of non-linear phenomena.
A limit for the design of some classes of metamaterials is less evident: the need for a theoretical approximate model at “intermediate” or mesoscale for the conception of functionalized materials, that could be seamlessly integrated into the computational framework for subsequent optimization. The above challenges can be addressed by extending in various ways existing models and codes, and by proposing a general multi-resolution multiscale framework to unify individual and multiphysics modeling endeavors.

B. “System Architecture by Design” (SAD) is the engineering paradigm on which the analytical MQE framework as well as several current and innovative methods, algorithms, architectures, and solutions can be merged to enable the development of innovative, affordable, and reliable Nanoarchitectronics applications and devices. Its fundamental aim is the exploitation, the customization, and the innovation of synthesis/analysis methodologies acting as enabling tools for the effective development of integrated design procedures comprising several different interchangeable functionalities. Accordingly, SAD involves the task oriented design, definition, and integration of Nanoarchitectronic system components to achieve desired performance with minimum costs, maximum scalability and optimal reconfigurability. In this framework, the ELEDIA Research Center@UNITN (Prof. Massa) has recently introduced and demonstrated the effectiveness of the SAD paradigm in the design of engineered-material applications including antenna systems, phased arrays, and metamaterial-based lenses.
European research already produces strong results on the individual aspects of Nanoarchitectronics, but it is fragmentation and does not benefit from a concerted effort. Under the umbrella of Nanoarchitectronics, these emerging themes are expected to enhance synergy. Engineers and physicists adopt different terminologies and methodologies to treat similar phenomena, and the interaction between the two communities (initiated by the Metamaterial community) should continue with new inputs. The number of researchers involved in Nanoarchitectronics is predictably very large, involving people not only from the ICT Engineering and Physics communities, but also from Mathematics and Material Science. Furthermore, there is an industrial need for alternative technologies that are expected to emerge from the new knowledge, to realize a new generation of communication and sensing architectures. It is estimated that, if successful, Nanoarchitectronics may deliver potential High-Tec products in a few years. Today, major High-Tech EU industries (Thales, Selex ES, …) are looking for new smart nanosystems combining ultra-low-power, autonomous, low-cost, high performance solutions that meet the next-generation technological objectives in terms of scalability, flexibility, reconfigurability, and modularity for avionics, radar, space, security, and remote sensing applications from microwaves to optics.

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Giacomo Oliveri's picture

The topics discussed in the proposal can have a very large impact both from the academic and from the commercial viewpoint, and the proposed FET approach would surely attract the interest many researcher and industries.

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Akram Alomainy's picture

This is very interesting and quite timely with all the recent advances and I strongly believe the inclusion of this topic as one of the essential research topics not only for this round but also for future ones.

0 users have voted.
Christian Renard's picture

This is an upstream subject with a potentially broad range of applications.
As physical scales are drastically reduced as regards phenomenology, various domains of physics and technology get intertwined, and hence should be approached and treated as a whole.
This is the way to go to design future generations of smart and very smart sensors.

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Luca Pierantoni's picture

The interesting point of this proposal is the effort to define a platform involving novel materials, new areas of applications and shared analytical-modeling tools

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Davide Ramaccia's picture

The proposal "Nanoarchitectronics" is very interesting. For the first time, there is a new paradigm gathering both industrial and academic environments, which brings Electronics, Photonics, Material Science, Solid State, Quantumand Condensed Matter Physics, Chemistry under the same umbrella. The objective is clear and the solid state-of-the-art, which now is exclusively for universities and research centers, may become a solid platform for industries, leading to novel technologies and, thus, devices. Very good proposal for a growing Europe!

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Maria Grazia Antoci's picture

It is an excellent and visionary idea to develop multidisciplinary integrated and revolutionary research with relevant technological applications.

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Filiberto Bilotti's picture

This topic is rapidly emerging and a wide critical mass of scientists and experts is under development in Europe. They are ready to contribute to this innovative concept that will have a dramatic impact in several scientific fields and societal challenges.

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Jean Chazelas's picture

Excellent topic!
One of the applications of nanoarchitectronics could be the study of ultimate metasurfaces based on 2D materials which apperas as a main challenge/stake for the future systems

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Daniel Dolfi's picture

Not only a very interesting domain of research but also a topic from which could emerge innovations with a great impact on communication, information processing, sensors and radar systems

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Carlo Sirtori's picture

The topics proposed in these "ideas" give a new spark to electromagnetic devices, system architecture and modelling. They have a tremendous potential for merging fundamental science with concrete technological issues that are driven by socio-economical needs, such as expanding telecom bands, producing new composite materials for high frequency electronics.Nanoarchitectronics is extremely interesting to create interdisciplinary consortia that would largely benefit from synergetic interactions between physicist and electrical engineers.

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Giorgio Giordanengo's picture

This is a very intersting subject, involving a lot of different research fields and opening for the communications of the future and all applications related to the electromagnetic fields.

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Yuanhe Xiong's picture

nano tech has attracted great attention from scientists, the application of this technology into the EM research field is exciting.

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Matteo Alessandro Francavilla's picture

Very interesting and promising topic for EU research!

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Group managers
Aymard DE TOUZALIN European Commission Future and Emerging Technology Unit Deputy Head of Unit
Walter VAN DE VELDE European Commission Future and Emerging Technologies Scientific Officer and FET Strategy
Beatrice MARQUEZ-GARRIDO European Commission Future & Emerging Technologies Unit Project Officer
Group Participants