Study of non-linear electromechanical effects on piezoelectric semiconducting nanowires

Published : 2 June 2022


 PhD.D. student  position at the  LMGP and IMEP-LAHC Laboratories in Grenoble
Study of non-linear electromechanical effects on piezoelectric semiconducting nanowires

Detailed subject :
In recent years, there has been a growing interest in the international scientific community for the study of nanowires (NWs), whose one-dimensional (1D) character gives them unique properties (electrical, mechanical…). These properties can be advantageously exploited for various applications such as sensors, actuators or energy harvesting systems [1-4]. One aspect that has not yet been fully explored is the effect of electromechanical non-linearities that can greatly affect the efficiency of energy conversion.

This PhD. thesis is part of the ANR LATINO project (2022 – 2026) in collaboration with the LMGP and IMEP-LaHC laboratories in Grenoble, IM2NP in Marseille and SOLEIL in Saclay. The work of this thesis will consist, on the one hand, in growing ZnO nanowires by hydrothermal synthesis and in integrating them on various test structures (Fig. 1). These structures will allow their mechanical, electrical or electromechanical characterization. The NWs will be characterized by SEM, XRD among others techniques to control their structural quality, then they will be characterized by advanced modes of AFM (Atomic Force Microscopy) available in the team [5, 6] or by other techniques via partners at national level (i.e. Synchrotron). On the other hand, the PhD. student will develop theoretical models linked to the experiments by exploiting the finite element method, for example with the commercial software COMSOL. The realization of these theoretical and experimental works will allow a better understanding of the linear and non-linear phenomena involved and will allow us to identify optimization guidelines for different applications, for example sensor or energy harvesting.

References :
[1] S. Lee et al., “Ultrathin Nanogenerators as Self-powered/Active Skin Sensors for Tracking Eye Ball Motion”, Adv. Funct. Mater., 24 (2014) p. 1163-1168.
[2] R. Tao et al., “Unveiling the Influence of Surface Fermi Level Pinning on the Piezoelectric Response of Semiconducting Nanowires”, Adv. Electron. Mater., 4(1), (2018) p. 1700299.
[3] R. Tao et al., “Modeling of semiconducting piezoelectric nanowires for energy harvesting and sensing” Nano energy, 14 (2015) p.62-76.
[4] R. Tao et al., “Performance of ZnO based piezo-generators under controlled compression”, Semiconductor Science and Technology, 32(6) (2017) p. 064003.
[5] A. J. Lopez Garcia et al., “Low-Temperature Growth of ZnO Nanowires from Gravure-Printed ZnO Nanoparticle Seed Layers for Flexible Piezoelectric Devices”. Nanomaterials, vol. 11(6), p.1430 2021.
[6] Y.S. Zhou et al., “Nano-newton transverse force sensor using a vertical GaN nanowire based on the piezotronic effect”, Adv. Mater., 25, p. 883-888 2013.

Scientific environment and duration of the project :
The person recruited will work in the Materials and Physical Engineering Laboratory (LMGP, Funsurf team) for the development and structural characterization of NWs and then in the Institute of Microelectronics, Electromagnetism and Photonics (IMEP-LaHC, Micro Nano Electronic Components team) for the integration of NWs as well as for electromechanical characterizations (AFM, etc.). Complementary characterizations could be carried out via local collaborations, for example with the Microelectronics Technology Laboratory (LTM).

Laboratories Web Site:


Start of the thesis:
From October to December 2022 (duration of 36 months)

Funding :
acquired from ANR, gross salary of about 2100 €/month

Profile and skills required :
The candidate should be a student of engineering school and/or Research Master’s degree whose training is mainly focused on materials science and engineering, semiconductor and/or devices physics. Knowledge of microelectronics technologies is desired. Ability to work in a team and to speak and write in English will be appreciated. We are looking for dynamic people who are motivated by laboratory work and fundamental research.

Contacts :
Gustavo ARDILA Tel : 04 56 52 95 32
Céline TERNON Tel : 04 56 52 93 66

Closing date for applications: 30 September 2022

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