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(filled) Development of Atomic Force Microscopy techniques for the characterization of piezoelectric semiconductor materials – Applications in energy conversion

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Start date : 01/09/2023

offer n° IMEPLAHC-CMNE-05-16-2023

 Postdoctoral subject: :

Development of Atomic Force Microscopy techniques for the characterization of piezoelectric semiconductor materials – Applications in energy conversion



AFM, Semiconductor Physics and technology, Nanotechnologies, Nanowires, Piezoelectricity, Multiphysics simulation.

Description of the project:
Semiconductor piezoelectric nanowires (NWs) (GaN and ZnO among others) have improved piezoelectric properties compared to thin films and bulk materials, due to their greater flexibility and sensitivity to lower forces. An intrinsic improvement in piezoelectric coefficients has also been identified by recent theoretical and experimental studies [1-5]. These NWs can be integrated into nanocomposites (formed by NWs embedded in a dielectric matrix). Very recent theoretical studies in our team show that these nanocomposites can feature improved performance compared to thin films [6-8]. This type of material is therefore very interesting for different innovative applications, like sensors and mechanical energy harvesting applications [9-11].

The piezoelectric performance of these nanostructures is highly affected by their semiconducting nature [7, 12]. It is thus very important to take into account the surface states and doping in the theoretical models and electromechanical characterizations. One of such characterization methods is Atomic Force Microscopy, where different modes, including the most advanced ones, can be concurrently used in order to characterize in a consistent way the electrical, mechanical and electromechanical properties of piezoelectric thin films and nanostructures [13, 14].

In the context of several European and national funded projects, the candidate will work on the AFM characterization of piezoelectric semiconducting thin layers and nanostructures (ZnO, GaN, between others). He/she will contribute to the development of new AFM techniques accompanied to theoretical simulations and to the evaluation of these nanostructures for innovative applications.

Depending on his or her expertise, the candidate will participate in the co-supervision of Master and PhD level students on several activities within the group, including (i) the characterization of nanowires, thin films and nanocomposites using AFM (Atomic Force Microscopy) techniques and (ii) the multi-physics simulation of the nanostructures and nanocomposite using commercial FEM simulation software (e. g. COMSOL Multiphysics).

The candidate will acquire expertise in (i) energy conversion using piezoelectric materials, (ii) AFM techniques (iii) electromechanical characterization of nanowires, thin films and nanocomposites, (iv) design and simulation of transducers integrating piezoelectric semiconductor nanowires, (v) student supervision.


[1] X. Xu, A. Potié, R. Songmuang, J.W. Lee, T. Baron, B. Salem and L. Montès, Nanotechnology 22 (2011)
[2] H. D. Espinosa, R. A. Bernal, M. Minary‐Jolandan, Adv. Mater. 24 (2012)
[3] A. Lopez, T. Jalabert et al. , Nanoenergy Advances, 2(2), (2022)
[4] T. Jalabert, M. Pusty et al., Nanotechnology, 34(11) (2023)
[5] N. Gogneau et al. Nanoscale, 14(13) (2022)
[6] R. Tao, G. Ardila, L. Montès, M. Mouis Nano Energy 14 (2015)
[7] R. Tao, M. Mouis, G. Ardila, Adv. Elec. Mat. 4 (2018)
[8] A. Lopez, M. Mouis et al., Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics, 55(40) (2022)
[9] S. Lee, R. Hinchet, Y. Lee, Y. Yang, Z. H. Lin, G. Ardila, et al., Adv. Func. Mater. 24 (2014)
[10] R. Hinchet, S. Lee, G. Ardila, L. Montès, M. Mouis, Z. L. Wang Adv. Funct. Mater. 24 (2014)
[11] M. Parmar, E.A.A.L. Perez, G. Ardila, et al., Nano Energy 56 (2019)
[12] C. H. Wang et al., 4 Adv. Energy Mat. (2014)
[13] Y.S. Zhou, R. Hinchet, Y. Yang, G. Ardila et al., 25 Adv. Mater. (2013)
[14] Q. C. Bui, G. Ardila et al., ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces 12 (2020).

More information:
Knowledge and skills required:
The candidate should hold a PhD in physics, applied physics or electrical engineering and should have a strong background in one or more of these areas: semiconductor physics, Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM), finite element simulation, clean room techniques and associated characterizations (SEM, etc.). A good level of English is required.

Location: IMEP-LaHC / Minatec / Grenoble, France
Start of the contract: September/October 2023
Duration of the contract: 1 year, renewable eventually

Gustavo ARDILA (

About the laboratory:
IMEP-LAHC is located in the Innovation Center Minatec in Grenoble. It works in close partnership with several national and international laboratories and industrial groups, preindustrial institutes and SMEs. The post-doctoral fellow will work in the Micro-Nano Electronics Components team, in the Integrated Nanostructures & Nanosystems group, and will have access to the laboratory’s technological (clean room) and characterization platforms.

Gustavo ARDILA +33 (0)

  • Keywords : Engineering sciences, Electronics and microelectronics - Optoelectronics, FMNT, IMEP-LaHc
  • Laboratory : FMNT / IMEP-LaHc
  • CEA code : IMEPLAHC-CMNE-05-16-2023
  • Contact :
  • This Post-doc position has been filled. Thank you for your interest

Strain driven Group IV photonic devices: applications to light emission and detection

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Start date : 01/01/2023

offer n° PsD-DRF-23-0020

Straining the crystal lattice of a semiconductor is a very powerful tool enabling controlling many properties such as its emission wavelength, its mobility…Modulating and controlling the strain in a reversible fashion and in the multi% range is a forefront challenge. Strain amplification is a rather recent technique allowing accumulating very significant amounts of strain in a micronic constriction, such as a microbridge (up to 4.9% for Ge [1]), which deeply drives the electronic properties of the starting semiconductor. Nevertheless, the architectures of GeSn microlasers under strong deformation and recently demonstrated in the IRIG institute [2] cannot afford modulating on demand the applied strain and thus the emission wavelength within the very same device, the latter being frozen “by design”. The target of this 18 months post doc is to fabricate photonic devices of the MOEMS family (Micro-opto-electromechanical systems) combining the local strain amplification in the semiconductor and actuation features via an external stimulus, with the objectives to go towards: 1-a wide band wavelength tunable laser microsource and 2-new types of photodetectors, both in a Group IV technology (Si, Ge and Ge1-xSnx). The candidate will conduct several tasks at the crossroads between fabrication and optoelectronic characterization:

a-simulation of the mechanical operation of the expected devices using FEM softwares, and calculation of the electronic states of the strained semiconductor

b-fabrication of devices at the Plateforme Technologique Amont (lithography, dry etching, metallization, bonding), based on results of a

c-optical and material characterization of the fabricated devices (PL, photocurrent, microRaman, SEM…) at IRIG-PHELIQS and LETI.

A PhD in the field of semiconductors physics or photonics, as well as skills in microfabrication are required.

[1] A. Gassenq et al, Appl. Phys. Lett.108, 241902 (2016)

[2] J. Chrétien et al, ACS Photonics2019, 6, 10, 2462–2469

  • Keywords : Condensed matter physics, chemistry & nanosciences, Technological challenges, Emerging materials and processes for nanotechnologies and microelectronics, Solid state physics, surfaces and interfaces, IRIG, PHELIQS
  • Laboratory : IRIG / PHELIQS
  • CEA code : PsD-DRF-23-0020
  • Contact :

Neural signal decoding for clinical Brain Spine neuroprosthesis

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Start date : 01/10/2022

offer n° PsD-DRT-22-0132

The postdoctoral project will be carried out at CEA/LETI/CLINATEC, in collaboration with EPFL (Lausanne, Switzerland) within the frame of multidisciplinary Brain-Machine Interface program. The program goal is to explore novel solutions for functional rehabilitation and/or compensation for people with sever motor disabilities using neuroprosthetics. Neuroprosthetics record, and decode brain neuronal signal for activating effectors (e.g. implantable spinal cord stimulator) directly without physiological neural control command pass way interrupted by spinal cord injury. A set of decoding algorithms analyzing the neuronal activity recorded at the level of the cerebral cortex were developed at CLINATEC. They were tested in the frame of clinical research protocols for tetraplegia in Grenoble and for paraplegia in Lausanne. The postdoctoral fellow will contribute to the next highly ambitious scientific breakthroughs addressing the medical needs of patents. Using the revolutionary technology (EPFL) of cervical stimulation for the upper limb control in tetraplegics, the postdoctoral project will aim at the upper limb BMI control algorithms performing real life tasks. The innovative decoding algorithms will be developed for controlling different effectors and combinations including Cartesian control and the direct joints control. Hidden semi-Markov Model will be employed to take into account the action temporal sequences performing real-life tasks. The decoder(s) will be tested in related clinical trial.

  • Keywords : Engineering sciences, Technological challenges, Health and environment technologies, medical devices, Mathematics - Numerical analysis - Simulation, Clinatec (LETI), Leti
  • Laboratory : Clinatec (LETI) / Leti
  • CEA code : PsD-DRT-22-0132
  • Contact :

Advanced biological functionalization for graphene biological sensors on flexible subtrate

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Start date : 01/07/2022

offer n° PsD-DRT-22-0139

The need for biological sensing solutions is constantly growing. Amid targeted applications, some require biosensor with high sensitivity. At CEA LETI we are running a project that aim at developing novel innovative wound dressing equipped with graphene biological sensors to track wound bacterial proliferation indicative of sepsis. The sensor is a Solution gated graphene FET-like sensor. In the Framework of that project, we develop and test innovative biological functionalization strategy adapted to the graphene sensors. This functionalization protocol, once established and tested through several reference instruments will be implemented on the sensor. The impact of the biological functionalization on the final sensing performance will be studied.

  • Keywords : Engineering sciences, Technological challenges, Health and environment technologies, medical devices, Materials and applications, DCOS, Leti
  • Laboratory : DCOS / Leti
  • CEA code : PsD-DRT-22-0139
  • Contact :

Development of large area substrates for power electronics

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Start date : 01/05/2022

offer n° PsD-DRT-22-0111

Improving the performance of power electronics components is a major challenge for reducing our energy consumption. Diamond appears as the ultimate candidate for power electronics. However, the small dimensions and the price of the substrates are obstacles to the use of this material. The main objective of the work is to overcome these two difficulties by slicing the samples into thin layers by SmartCut™ and by tiling these thin layers to obtain substrates compatible with microelectronics.

For this, various experiments will be carried out in a clean room. Firstly, the SmartCut™ process must be made more reliable. Characterizations such as optical microscopy, AFM, SEM, Raman, XPS, electrical, etc. will be carried out in order to better understand the mechanisms involved in this process.

The candidate might be required to work on other wide-gap materials studied in the laboratory such as GaN and SiC, which will allow him to have a broader view of substrates for power electronics.

  • Keywords : Engineering sciences, Technological challenges, Emerging materials and processes for nanotechnologies and microelectronics, Materials and applications, DCOS, Leti
  • Laboratory : DCOS / Leti
  • CEA code : PsD-DRT-22-0111
  • Contact :
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