Modelling, fabrication and characterization of mechanical energy transducers based on piezoelectric nanowires

Published : 19 September 2016

PhD Thesis proposal: Deadline for application 31/05/2016
Modelling, fabrication and characterization of mechanical energy transducers based on piezoelectric nanowires 
IMEP-LAHC / MINATEC / Grenoble-France

Nanotechnologies, Nanowires, Piezoelectricity, Semiconductor Physics and technology, Multiphysics modeling, Nanogenerator, Energy harvesting.

Context and objectives:
Nanowire devices are attracting a growing interest because of the unique electrical and mechanical properties that arise from their 1D structure. These properties are being explored advantageously for several kinds of applications, such as sensors and energy harvesting devices.
This Phd Thesis will concentrate on mechanical to electrical transduction based on ZnO nanowires (NW). Nanogenerators based on this principle are currently developed at IMEP-LaHC [1][2] in partnership with several laboratories and industrial companies in France and abroad (such as LMGP, INL, CEA/LETI, Georgia Tech, Korea Univ., STMicroelectronics…).


This project is both theoretical and experimental and has three primary goals:
Development of multi-physical models: Analytical and Finite Element Methods have been previously developed in our group to describe the energy conversion of individual NWs and NWs based transducers under different types of mechanical loading. The novelty will be to account for NW semiconducting properties, surface states and non-linear effects that are suspected to strongly affect device performance in practice. This will result in a better understanding of the underlying physics, the assessment of the respective weight of the different phenomena and the definition of the guidelines for device optimization.

Fabrication: ZnO NWs will be grown in collaboration with different partners (LMGP, INL…). These NWs will be integrated into composites over rigid and flexible substrates at IMEP-LaHC.

Characterization: Rigid and flexible transducers will be characterized thanks to dedicated test benches developed at IMEP. The methodology and techniques will be improved during the PhD thesis. One important objective of the project is to assess the reliability of these transducers. Eventually a benchmarking will be made to compare these transducers with other solutions (i.e. using piezoelectric thin films, other transduction mechanisms…)

The analysis of the experimental and modelling results will be used to obtain a better insight of the mechanical energy transduction at the nano scale, and to improve device efficiency.
The PhD student will benefit from an established collaboration framework and will have the opportunity to contribute to national and European projects related to energy harvesting for autonomous systems.
This PhD application will follow the competitive recruitment process of the EEATS Doctoral School of Grenoble Alpes University

[1] R. Tao, G. Ardila L. Montes and M. Mouis, Nano energy, 14, p.62-76 2015
[2] S. Lee, R. Hinchet, Y. Lee, Y. Yang, Z.-H. Lin, G. Ardila, L. Montes, M. Mouis, Z. L. Wang, Adv. Funct. Mater., 24, p. 1163-1168 2014.

More info:
The required skills for the PhD are:
– Background in electronics/physics or material science
– Basic knowledge in clean room technology
– Basic knowledge in electrical characterization techniques will be appreciated
– MEMS/NEMS experience will also be appreciated
– Basic knowledge in simulation tools (FEM based software…)

Gustavo ARDILA and Mireille MOUIS.

Doctoral Grant (net salary 1367.80€/month)

October/November 2016

3 years
Deadline for the application: 31/05/2016
About the laboratory:
IMEP-LAHC is located in the Innovation Center Minatec in Grenoble. The main research areas concern Microelectronic devices (CMOS, SOI, …), Nanotechnologies, Photonic and RF devices. It works in close partnership with several industrial groups such as ST-Microelectronics, IBM, … and platforms such as LETI, LITEN, IMEC, Tyndall. The training will be within the group working on MicroNanoElectronic Devices / Nanostructures & Nanosystems. The PhD student will have access to several technological (clean room) and characterization platforms.

Gustavo ARDILA  +33 (0)

More information