Study and development of piezotronic biosensors based on ZnO

Published : 15 May 2020

PhD thesis subject:

Study and development of piezotronic biosensors based on ZnO

IMEP-LaHC / MINATEC / Grenoble-France
Deadline for application: May 31th 2020


Nanotechnologies, Nanowires, Piezoelectricity, Biosensor, Semiconductor Physics and technology.

Description of the project:
Semi-conductor piezoelectric nanowires (NWs) (of GaN or ZnO among others) have improved piezoelectric properties compared to thin films and bulk materials, because of their greater flexibility, their sensitivity to weaker forces, and also, due to an intrinsic improvement in their piezoelectric coefficients which has been identified by recent theoretical and experimental studies [1, 2].
The coupling of piezoelectric polarization and semiconducting properties of the nanostructures allow the design of new “piezotronic” devices with new functionalities and improved performance. They can be used in applications like pressure or strain sensors, biosensors, photodetectors, etc. [3, 4, 5]. In France, the IMEP-LaHC has contributed in this area with the study of several piezotronic devices based in NWs [6, 7].
These studies have been realized in collaboration with different laboratories and research institutes in France and abroad. In this domain, several devices have been explored but very few studies have been reported about their reliability and lifetime.

The objective of this thesis will be the design, study and development of new architectures of biosensors exploiting the piezotronic effect on NWs. The purpose is to develop biosensors with high sensitivity, reliability and lifetime.

The student will have at his disposal all the experimental facilities of the laboratory, as well as access to the PTA technological platform for the preparation of specific test structures (metallization of contacts, connections, etc.).
The NWs will be developed at the IMEP-LaHC or will be accessible through different collaborations.
The surface functionalization and biological manipulations will be realized as well through collaborations (LMGP, INL, Institute Néel, INAC…).

[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] Y. Zhang, Y. Liu and Z. L. Wang, Advanced Materials 23 (2011)
[4] X. Wang, Am. Ceram. Soc. Bull, 92 (2013).
[5] K. Jenkins, V. Nguyen, R. Zhu and R. Yang, Sensors 15 (2015)
[6] M. Parmar, E. A. A. L. Perez, G. Ardila, E. Saoutieff, E. Pauliac-Vaujour and M. Mouis, Nano Energy 56 (2019)
[7] Y.S. Zhou, R. Hinchet, Y. Yang, G. Ardila, R. Songmuang, F. Zhang, Y. Zhang, W. Han, K. Pradel, L. Montes, M. Mouis and Z.L. Wang, Adv. Mater. 25 (2013)

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Knowledge and skills required:
It is desirable that the candidate has knowledge in one or more of these areas: semiconductor physics, piezoelectricity, clean room techniques and associated characterizations (SEM, etc.), surface functionalization, biosensors.
The grades and the rank as undergraduate and especially for the Master degree are a very important selection criterion for the doctoral school.

IMEP-LaHC / Minatec / Grenoble, France

Doctoral school:
EEATS (Electronics, Electrical engineering, Automatism, Signal processing), specialty NENT (Nano Electronics Nano Technologies).

About the laboratory:
IMEP-LAHC is located in the Innovation Center Minatec in Grenoble. The main research areas concern Microelectronic devices (especially CMOS, SOI), Nanotechnologies, Photonic and RF devices. It works in close partnership with several industrial groups (such as ST-Microelectronics, IBM, or Global Foundries), preindustrial institutes (such as LETI, LITEN, IMEC, or Tyndall), as well as SMEs (e.g. CEDRAT).
The PhD thesis will be carried out within the group working on MicroNanoElectronic Devices /Nanostructures & Nanosystems. The student will have access to several technological (clean room) and characterization platforms.

Gustavo ARDILA  :

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