I WANT to express my gratitude to my supervisors TIBOR GRASSER, ERASMUS LANGER, and SIEGFRIED SELBERHERR, who gave me the possibility to enroll my PhD program at the Institute for Microelectronics. Moreover, I have to say big thanks to Siegfried for teaching me how to teach and supervise my students and some of my colleagues through several national and international projects. Special thanks go HERMANN SCHICHL, who was always available at short call providing me with the appropriate help and valuable discussions regarding optimization issues.

I am indebted to my collegues CHRISTIAN HOLLAUER, ALIREZA SHEIKHOLESAMI, and GREGOR MELLER and their excellent knowledge of mechanics and thermodynamics which brought me a sympathy to the mechanics and thermodynamics side of microelectronics.

Furthermore, I want to thank STEPHAN WAGNER and WILFRIED WESSNER for their valuable contributions and discussions on compilers, solvers, and meshes over a relaxing beer after work.

Special thanks go to MARKUS KARNER, ANDREAS GEHRING, and OSKAR BAUMGARTNER, the very helpful and understanding room mates. They always had good ideas for lunch and showed much imagination in interpreting some of my written works.

To my colleagues ROBERT ENTNER, STEPHAN-ENZO UNGERSBÖCK, and MARTIN WAGNER, I want to say thanks for their valuable contributions and discussions, even concerning private matters. In addition to our research work, we had great times doing sports together. Moreover, I was allowed to learn a lot from PAUL URGEN WAGNER. He excels in discussions on topics related to electrodynamics, mathematics, and LATEX. I am also indebted to RAINER MINIXHOFER and HELMUT PUCHNER for their valuable discussions on challenging and emerging technology and device issues from an industrial point of view.

Je remercie tous ceux qui m'ont aidé avec les corrections linguistiques de ce thèse et par leur soutien personnel. Mais particulièrement, je voudrais exprimer mes meilleurs sentiments de reconnaissance envers URSULA & THOMAS HEUMESSER, ELEONORA LUISA, PENELOPE & KARL-ERWIN LICHTENECKER, et biensûr ma professeur d'anglais et français SISSI SCHIEMEL.

Zu guter Letzt möchte ich meiner Familie und meinen Freunden dafür danken, daß sie mich in diesem schwierigen Lebensabschnitt tatkräftig und unermüdlich unterstützt und mir stets so viel Verständnis entgegen gebracht haben.

En poussant le cri triomphal je remercie tous: ``T¨OÖÖÖRRRRÖÖÖÖ'' .

Stefan Holzer 2007-11-19