Getting Started

We are currently rewriting our documentation. Please note that this manual is not complete yet but will be improved step by step.

nextnano - the next generation 3D nano device simulator

Welcome to our 3D nano device simulator nextnano.

nextnano++ is a Schrödinger-Poisson-current solver and simulates quantum wells, quantum wires, quantum dots, …

nextnano++ features

  • includes group IV materials (Si, Ge, SiGe) and all III-V materials, its ternaries and quaternaries;

  • the nitrides are available in the zinc blende and wurtzite crystal structure

  • flexible structures and geometries (1D, 2D and 3D)

  • fully quantum mechanical electronic structure, based on the 8-band \(\mathbf{k} \cdot \mathbf{p}\) model

  • strain, piezo and pyroelectric charges

  • growth directions along [001], [011], [111], [211], … in short along any crystallographic direction

  • equilibrium and nonequilibrium, calculation of current close to equilibrium (semi-classical)

  • magnetic fields

nextnano++ (written in C++) is the successor of the nextnano³ code (written in Fortran).

The previous documentation of the nextnano++ software can be found here:

Instructions for download and installation

Many thanks for your interest in the nextnano software.

  1. Register

    First, your have to register here.

    You will then receive an email with a link for the following password protected downloads, and instructions on how to activate your free 1-month evaluation license.

  2. Download

    You can download the latest version of nextnano from our Downloads website:

    Download nextnano

    Our most recent zip files contain executables for Windows, Linux and MacOS. Experienced users can use Wine to run nextnanomat on Linux. However, it does not work smoothly on Linux. Therefore, we strongly recommend Windows.

    Older versions are also listed on our Downloads website.

    1. We recommend downloading the zip file with the Installer.

    2. If you do not have Administrator rights on your computer, you can download and unzip the file without the installer. No installation is required. Just unzip the file and start nextnanomat.exe. nextnanomat is the graphical user interface while the nextnano++ and nextnano³ are the actual scientific software doing the calculations.

    You can typically install several versions of nextnano on the same computer. There is no need to uninstall previous versions if you want to keep them.


    You can download the most recent version from here: . This zip file is generated automatically once we check in new source code. It is therefore not much tested and could be unstable. It includes binaries for Windows, Ubuntu and MacOS, and sample input files. It does not include an installer. This zip file is only suited for experienced users.

  3. Start nextnanomat


    nextnanomat (nextnanomat.exe) is the Front End & Workflow Manager that runs the nextnano++ and nextnano³ software.

  4. License Activation

    When you activate the license, please enter exactly your License Key into the field License key:

    License activation

    Figure 1 Here you have to enter your License Key, e.g.

    Then a license file is generated. You need this automatically generated license License_nnp.lic for both the nextnano++ and nextnano³ software. If your institution does not allow Online Activation, you can can use Offline activation. Your evaluation license (free-of-charge) is valid for 1 month and can be activated on 2 computers. If you need a prolongation, please do not hesitate to contact us.

    The license activation procedure is documented here: License Activation

    The location of the license files can be checked using:

    nextnanomat ==> Tools ==> Options ==> Licenses.

    License files

    Figure 2 nextnano++ and nextnano³ use the same license file: License_nnp.lic

  5. Number of licenses

    For university and government institutions, the license fee covers all group members of the research group purchasing the software.

  6. Example input files (Tutorials)

    The zip file contains many example input files.

    It is best to follow the tutorials of our Workshop.

    We are happy to provide any further tutorial input files that you need. For all tutorials on this website List of tutorials, input files are contained in the installation folder.

    The complete list of tutorials can be found here: List of all tutorials.

    If you can tell us what you want to simulate, we can point you to the most relevant examples.

  7. Gnuplot

    We also recommend installing the free gnuplot software:

    Download Gnuplot

    Then you can generate plots from within our GUI nextnanomat conveniently.

  8. First steps

    Start e.g. with this Laser Diode example. This input file solves the Schrödinger, Poisson and drift-diffusion current equation for a multi-quantum well laser diode.

    Detailed documentation: 1D - InGaAs Multi-quantum well laser diode

    Band structure of a Laser Diode

    Figure 3 Conduction band edge, valence band edge, and quasi-Fermi levels for electrons and holes of a Laser Diode

    The number of quantum wells can be adjusted in the input file using the variable NUMBER_OF_WELLS.

    Template Tab

    Figure 4 Template tab to define parameter sweeps. Here, the variable NUMBER_OF_WELLS is varied using the List of values 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. By clicking on Create input files, 5 input files are generated, each having a different number of quantum wells.

    This laser diode input file is included in the zip file of the latest update.

    Electron density in a Laser Diode

    Figure 5 Energy and position resolved electron density \(n(x,E)\) of the Laser Diode.

  9. Facebook

    Follow us on Facebook to stay informed about the latest news of the nextnano software:

  10. YouTube Videos

    We also have a YouTube Channel:

    There are two short videos that give you a first impression. If you are unsure whether to install the nextnano software, this video might be of help:
  11. Python package

    We offer a Python package for post-processing the results. However, nextnanopy is currently suited for experienced Python and experienced nextnano users only.
    pip install nextnanopy
  12. Feedback and Support

    Just let us know if you have any further questions, or if you have any feedback on our software. Please send support questions to support [at] or use our nextnano support Help Center. You will then receive a support ticket.

    The nextnano team