The fabrication of nanoelectronics currently relies almost completely on top-down processing, which is becoming more and more demanding now that the devices of the future predominantly consists of 3D nanostructures. In this project recently funded with an ERC Starting Grant, the goal is to synthesize materials using atoms as building blocks in a bottom-up fashion. While this ambition connects to Feynman’s vision formulated in his lecture “There is plenty of room at the bottom”, the realisation of bottom-up fabrication still remains a challenge, especially when considering approaches that can employed for high-volume manufacturing. To this end, the popular thin film deposition technique of atomic layer deposition (ALD) will be used as a starting point, which allows for the processing of materials with atomic-level control.
In this project, new approaches for selective deposition will be developed, i.e. approaches that enable the deposition of material only there where it is needed, as an alternative to top-down fabrication involving photolithography and etching. The focus will be on two different flavours of selective deposition: (i) topographically-selective deposition by distinguishing between horizontally- and vertically-oriented surfaces, (ii) area-selective deposition in 3D nanostructures by distinguishing between surfaces of different materials. The experiments will involve the exposure of surfaces to plasmas and the functionalization of surfaces with (organic) inhibitor molecules.
Project & Job description
We are looking for a PhD student who is interested in performing fundamental experimental studies towards the development of these selective deposition approaches. A variety of experimental techniques will be employed to obtain insights into the growth and the surface chemistry such as in-situ ellipsometry and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy. In order to demonstrate selective processes, depositions will be performed on 3D nanostructures samples, and analyzed by scanning and transmission electron microscopy. These experimental studies will be complemented with theoretical studies together with other project members. This PhD is a 4-year position intended to start from January 2021.
The work will be performed in the group Plasma & Materials Processing at the Department of Applied Physics at the TU/e. The PMP group focuses on the advancement of the science and technology of plasma and materials processing, a research area which is in essence multidisciplinary and encompasses the research fields of plasma physics, surface science, and materials science. The scientific objective of the group is to obtain “atomic” level understanding of the interaction of plasmas and gases with materials.
For this PhD position, we are looking for a highly talented, enthusiastic, and exceptionally motivated candidate with MSc degree (or equivalent) in (Applied) Physics, Chemistry, Chemical Engineering, Material Science, or similar. He/she must have a strong background in either physics or chemistry. Experience in the areas of plasma physics, surface science, or thin film deposition would be an asset, but is not a requirement. To facilitate the collaboration within the project, the candidate should have interest in the interpretation of theoretical studies, as well as in device fabrication schemes. Good communication skills in English (both written and spoken) are required.
Responsibilities and tasks:
Do you recognize yourself in this profile and would you like to know more? Please contact A.J.M. Mackus: A.J.M.Mackus[at]tue.nl.
For information about terms of employment, please contact HR services: hrservices.flux[at]tue.nl
Please visit www.tue.nl/jobs to find out more about working at TU/e!
Applications should include:
Screening of applications will start as soon as applications are received and will continue until the position has been filled.