Massimo Vanzi

University Cagliari
Electrical and Electronics Engineering DIEE
Piazza D' Armi
Calgliari 09123
Phone: 39 070 675 5775
    Fax: 39 070 675 5900

Massimo Vanzi (Bologna, May 13, 1954) graduated in Physics at the University of Bologna in 1978.

From 1980 to 1992 he worked at Telettra S.p.A. on studying reliability issue of semiconductor electronic circuits and analytical techniques development required from these activities.

In the 1985/1986 he was Senior Expert of the ONU's ITU Agency at Telebras, Campinas, Brazil.

On 1992 he became Associated Professor of Solid State Electronics at the Electronic Engineering Course of the University of Cagliari.

Since then, he focused his work on Reliability, by means of much cooperation with European Labs, like ETH Zurich, IXL Bordeaux, Fraunhofer inst. Darmstadt. Particular efforts have been spent on photonic devices, within cooperation with Pirelli Cavi, Milan.

Since 1998 he opened the course of Reliability and Diagnostics of Electron Devices and Systems, where he gives account of the know-how and of the daily upgrading on technology, characterization and analysis on electron and photon devices.

Since October 2001 he is Full Professor of Electronics.

On 2001 he was the General Chairman of the International Workshop on Compound Semiconductor Devices and Integrated Circuits (WOCSDICE2001, May, Cagliari) and for the year 2002 he is the Chairman of the Technical Committee of ESREF 2002, one of the three international appointments (the only European one) on Reliability and Diagnostics of semiconductor Devices.

On 2007/08 he has been a member of the ESA Work Group on Laser Diodes, whose task is the definition of the qualification criteria for such devices in space applications.

On 2009 and 2010 he has been the organizer and the scientific chairman of the 1st and 2nd  International Symposium on Reliability of Optoelectronics for Space applications (ISROS2009), a new event focused on reliability of photonic devices in such a special environment as space. The worldwide adhesion of all the space agencies has welcome this proposal, together with the participation of the most important experts in the field of reliability of photonics.


The M. Vanzi's research topics are the physical and electrical characterization of semiconductor electronic devices and the physics mechanism of failures discovered.

This activity is divided into the following chief arguments:


- Characterization of technologies and electronic devices Micrologics TTL-Schottky: study of metal boundaries degradation into the CMOS Schottky bipolar devices.

The study of the Latch-Up phenomena into the CMOS devices using electron microscopy special techniques. VLSI devices.

Microelectronic modelling and planning of a test pattern for studying current crowding phenomena of metal-semiconductor contacts.

Particle detectors. Theoretical interpretation of signals propagation into microstrip detectors.

- Development and application of new investigation techniques, especially for large scale integration devices and photonic devices.

TEM: study of tunneling phenomena onto rough surface with 3D maps obtained from TEM images statistics. TEM analysis of semiconductor laser degradations.

Electronic holography: theoretical and practical study of Schroedinger wave distortions made from microfields associated to pn junctions observed by TEM.

EBIC/FIB/TEM: procedure for analyzing by TEM the degradations of semiconductor laser.

EBT: development and design patent of a new technique for isolating the logical anomalies of integrated devices comparing Voltage Contrast maps.

- Reliability of new developed technologies (programmable devices, ECL devices, Schottky, COMS, plastic package devices, MESFETs, Laser)

The researches on compound semiconductor devices (GaN MESFETs) and on optoelectronic devices (TLC Lasers) are relevant in this project.

GaAs MESFETs and GaAs HEMTs: study of thermic effects made from high currents and high temperatures associated with these:

the parametric degradations of MESFETs have been explained from the identification of electromigration effects into more stressed metallization and of gate metallization/semiconductor penetration (gate sinking).

Development of an innovative technique to detect the "gate sinking" phenomena through selective removal criteria of semiconductor layer for observing back metal contact surface.

TEM employment for observing thin sections of real devices for studying and characterizing no alloy ohmic contacts on GaN. Some variations driven from continued thermic treatments of GaAs/Pd/Ge contacts have been detected using this technique; other techniques did not found explanation for the resistance increasing.

Microinteractions visualization of contacts of gate submicrometric Schottky Ti/Pt/Au - GaAs devices carrying out life tests and correspondence of these phenomena with electrical observed characteristics.