Rising Stars 2020:

Urmita Sikder

PhD Candidate

University of California, Berkeley

Areas of Interest

  • Micro/Nano Electro Mechanical Systems
  • Physical Electronics


Hybrid CMOS-NEM Circuits for Energy-Efficient Computation


In recent years, nano-electro-mechanical (NEM) switches have generated interest as an intriguing option for implementation of energy-efficient digital integrated circuits (ICs). NEM switches offer the advantages of zero OFF-state leakage current, abrupt ON/OFF switching characteristics, non-volatility, and relatively low ON-state resistance. Monolithic integration of CMOS transistors and NEM switches can improve energy efficiency, which is especially important for Internet of Things (IoT) applications. To minimize the number of additional fabrication process steps, the metallic interconnect layers in a conventional CMOS back-end-of-line (BEOL) process can be leveraged to implement NEM switches. We have implemented non-volatile NEM switches using multiple metallic layers in the BEOL stack of a standard CMOS process. We have also demonstrated operation of a hybrid CMOS-NEM circuit verifying low contact resistance and reconfigurable circuit functionality. With technology scaling, the programming voltage of BEOL NV-NEM switches is projected to be in the range compatible with standard I/O CMOS circuitry, showing promise for future Internet of Things applications.


Urmita Sikder received the B.S. and the M.S. degrees in electrical and electronic engineering from Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology. She is currently pursuing the Ph.D. degree at University of California at Berkeley, CA, USA. Her research focuses on energy efficient systems, monolithic integration and non-volatile memory technologies.