Inventor of Smart Cut™ Technology Honored


The IEEE has conferred the Cledo Brunetti Award on Dr. Michel Bruel.

At a ceremony at the IEDM in San Francisco, the IEEE Board of Directors gave the 2008 Cledo Brunetti Award to Dr. Michel Bruel for his invention of the Smart Cut™ layer transfer technology that enabled widespread adoption of SOI for CMOS circuits. One of the industry’s greatest honors, the award recognizes outstanding contributions to miniaturization in the electronics arts.

As a researcher at CEA-Leti, Dr. Bruel invented this cost-effective process to allow slicing – with atomic precision – an ultra-thin layer off of one wafer and transferring it to another support. Trademarked as the Smart Cut technology, it is now supported by over 2000 patents worldwide owned both by CEA-Leti and Soitec, and accounts for 85% of all SOI production wafers.

The revolutionary nature of Bruel’s breakthrough technology was first recognized by two of his colleagues: André-Jacques Auberton-Hervé and Jean-Michel Lamure, who were also CEA-Leti researchers and SOI experts. At this time in the early 1990’s, Auberton-Hervé and Lamure had recently launched an SOI wafer-manufacturing start-up called Soitec in Grenoble using an older process technology. However, upon seeing Bruel’s layer transfer process, Lamure and Auberton-Hervé contracted with Leti for an exclusive license. The technology made its world debut in 1995, when Dr. Auberton-Hervé announced it at Semicon West.

Asked to comment on the award, Dr. Bruel responded, “I would like to share this honor with all of the people who in one way or another – at Leti and at Soitec – participated and contributed to the development and industrialization of this technology, with a special thought for the late Jean-Michel Lamure.”

After a long career at Leti, Dr. Bruel has now founded a company called Aplinov, devoted
to innovation at the micro- and nano-component level.

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