Heike Riel

Rudolf Diesel Industry Fellow

IBM Research – Zurich

Science and Technology

Alexander W. Holleitner

Focus Group
Semiconductor Nanowires

Short CV

Dr. Heike Riel is IBM Fellow and the Manager of the Materials Integration & Nanoscale Devices (MIND) group at IBM Research – Zurich, Switzerland. She is responsible for projects in the area of III-V semiconductors for applications in electronics, optoelectronics and energy harvesting and molecular electronics.

Heike Riel studied physics at the Friedrich-Alexander University of Erlangen-Nürnberg, Germany, and received a PhD from the University of Bayreuth, Germany, in 2003 for her work on the optimization of multilayer organic light-emitting devices. After an internship at the Hewlett-Packard Research Laboratory in Palo Alto, she joined the IBM Zurich Research Lab in 1998 as a PhD student, and became a Research Staff Member in 2003. From 2008 to 2014 she headed the Nanoscale Electronics Group and since 2014 she has been leading the MIND group. In 2011, she graduated with an MBA from Henley Business School. In 2013, Heike Riel was named IBM Fellow, the company's highest technical distinction and became Member of the IBM Academy of Technology.


2014 Elected Member of the Swiss Academy of Engineering Sciences SATW (November)

2013 Alexander von Humboldt Professorship  (declined)

SVIN 2012 Award in the category “Technical or Scientific Innovation” which was awarded by the Swiss Association of Women in Engineering (SVIN) on the occasion of their 20th anniversary (June)

2005 Award of the Swiss Physical Society for Applied Physics (July)

2003 Top Young Researcher TR100, MIT Technology Review (September)

2002 Young Researcher Award of the 11th International Workshop on Inorganic and Organic Electroluminescence and International Conference on the Science and Technology of Emissive Displays and Lighting, held in Ghent, Belgium. Received for the work on: Optimizing OLED Performance by Using Interference Effects (September)

1989 Bavarian State Award for her „Facharbeiterprüfung im Schreinerhandwerk“ (July)







Research Interests

Heike Riel’s research focuses on new materials and novel device concepts for future nanoelectronics in particular steep slope devices for energy efficient computation.

Selected Publications

  • Nirmalraj, Peter; Thompson, Damien; Molina-Ontoria, Agustín; Sousa, Marilyne; Martín, Nazario; Gotsmann, Bernd; Riel, Heike: Nanoelectrical analysis of single molecules and atomic-scale materials at the solid/liquid interface. Nature Materials 13 (10), 2014, 947-953 mehr… BibTeX Volltext ( DOI )
  • Signorello, G.; Lörtscher, E.; Khomyakov, P.A.; Karg, S.; Dheeraj, D.L.; Gotsmann, B.; Weman, H.; Riel, H.: Inducing a direct-to-pseudodirect bandgap transition in wurtzite GaAs nanowires with uniaxial stress. Nature Communications 5, 2014 mehr… BibTeX Volltext ( DOI )
  • Borg, Mattias; Schmid, Heinz; Moselund, Kirsten E.; Signorello, Giorgio; Gignac, Lynne; Bruley, John; Breslin, Chris; Das Kanungo, Pratyush; Werner, Peter; Riel, Heike: Vertical III–V Nanowire Device Integration on Si(100). Nano Letters 14 (4), 2014, 1914-1920 mehr… BibTeX Volltext ( DOI )
  • Menges, Fabian; Riel, Heike; Stemmer, Andreas; Dimitrakopoulos, Christos; Gotsmann, Bernd: Thermal Transport into Graphene through Nanoscopic Contacts. Phys. Rev. Lett. 111 (20), 2013 mehr… BibTeX Volltext ( DOI )
  • Schmid, Heinz; Bessire, Cedric; Björk, Mikael T.; Schenk, Andreas; Riel, Heike: Silicon Nanowire Esaki Diodes. Nano Letters 12 (2), 2012, 699-703 mehr… BibTeX Volltext ( DOI )
  • Ionescu, Adrian M.; Riel, Heike: Tunnel field-effect transistors as energy-efficient electronic switches. Nature 479 (7373), 2011, 329-337 mehr… BibTeX Volltext ( DOI )
  • Björk, M. T.; Schmid, H.; Bessire, C. D.; Moselund, K. E.; Ghoneim, H.; Karg, S.; Lörtscher, E.; Riel, H.: Si–InAs heterojunction Esaki tunnel diodes with high current densities. Appl. Phys. Lett. 97 (16), 2010, 163501 mehr… BibTeX Volltext ( DOI )
  • Lörtscher, Emanuel; Ciszek, Jacob W.; Tour, James; Riel, Heike: Reversible and Controllable Switching of a Single-Molecule Junction. Small 2 (8-9), 2006, 973-977 mehr… BibTeX Volltext ( DOI )
  • Schmidt, Volker; Riel, Heike; Senz, Stephan; Karg, Siegfried; Riess, Walter; Gösele, Ulrich: Realization of a Silicon Nanowire Vertical Surround-Gate Field-Effect Transistor. Small 2 (1), 2006, 85-88 mehr… BibTeX Volltext ( DOI )
  • Riel, H.; Karg, S.; Beierlein, T.; Rieß, W.; Neyts, K.: Tuning the emission characteristics of top-emitting organic light-emitting devices by means of a dielectric capping layer: An experimental and theoretical study. J. Appl. Phys. 94 (8), 2003, 5290 mehr… BibTeX Volltext ( DOI )