A new test environment is being planned to facilitate the creation of next-generation photonic and electronic devices. A team of researchers from throughout Europe is working to develop the simulation environment as part of a three-year project funded by the European Commission. The project, called DEEPEN (Atomic to Device Explicit Simulation Environment for Photonic and Electronic Nanostructures), addresses a growing need to track and analyze the performance of photonic and electronic devices at the atomic scale during the design process. The researchers are creating a more efficient, open-source framework that will allow developers to use simulation tools to track devices’ overall performance changes during testing. DEEPEN integrates existing state-of-the-art methods and new methodologies within the multi-scale framework, spanning first principles to macroscopic models. The DEEPEN project team, from left, includes Mathieu Luisier (ETH Zurich), Dr. Lutz Geelhaar (Paul Drude Institute), Eoin O'Reilly (Tyndall), Dr. Alvaro Gomez-Iglesias (OSRAM Opto Semiconductors), Dr. Fabio Sacconi (TiberLab) and Dr. Axel Erlebach (Synopsys). Courtesy of Tyndall National Institute. The project addresses two key issues, according to the researchers — new device simulators’ need for an atomic-scale description of selected regions of an LED or transistor, and the resolution of uncertainty in many critical parameters required for device optimization. Testing models will be developed as well, to address the challenges of quantitatively predicting electronic bands and quantum phenomena at the nanoscale, as well as linking such properties to overall device behavior. The project emphasizes “aggressive dissemination of results to maximize impact, including organization of training schools and an international workshop, as well as the release and support of demonstration software and the open source interfaces,” according to the commission. Project team members include experts and researchers from the Tyndall National Institute in Ireland; ETH Zurich and Synopsys in Switzerland; OSRAM Opto Semiconductors and the Paul Drude Institute for Solid State Electronics in Germany; and Tiberlab in Italy. For more information, visit: www.tyndall.ie.