Agile software development and automated data analysis for Ion beam analysis techniques

Leuven - Master projects/internships
More than two weeks ago

Are you interested in lean and agile software development? Curious to know how the automation of ion beam analysis techniques: Rutherford backscattering spectrometry and elastic recoil detection analysis are executed? Then join us....

At imec, a wide variety of front edge nano-electronic devices and applications (transistors, memories, solar cells, wearables, sensor solutions for Internet of Things, Radar sensing systems....) have been investigated. To verify the properties of the extremely challenging new devices (sub-22 nm technology) high-end characterization tools are essential. In this framework accelerator based characterization is one of the approaches that is pursued. For this, imec operates a 2 million Volt tandem particle accelerator, connected to multiple beam-lines and high-vacuum detection end-stations. Especially, continuous development and optimization of automation allow us to be internationally at the forefront in terms of high throughput and ultrahigh-sensitivity ion-beam based characterization of nano-electronic devices.

This project aims to improve and further develop the control application (WASP) originally developed at imec. The WASP project enables to control a medium-large dynamic constellation of instruments in a modular way. Instrument based software applications, so called daemons (working like a driver in the background), allow the user to communicate with physical devices through Ethernet (TCP/IP) and RS232/RS485 (via Serial-Ethernet gateways). They also interact with the user through a user-friendly graphical interface (GUI) as well as support for a flexible scripting language capability. The signals from various virtual instruments are accessible to both the GUI as well as to scripts that can be run in a command-like environment.

The upcoming - challenging tasks will be:

  • Develop software applications at the level of supervision using python to coordinate the activity of multiple daemons into a full measurement; compare performance of the optimized and improved python scripts with existing software applications.
  • Design a User Interface to manage and to monitor multiple daemons
  • Develop preliminary algorithms (possibly with python) towards the automated analysis and fitting of the spectra acquired
  • Prepare well-organized documentation and maintain the source code via version control systems
  • Design Model driven engineering - UML diagrams (Behavioral and structural) to explain the software system and process flow

The pre-existing work will give you an insight into object-oriented environment - C++ (also C, python, HTML, JavaScript, Node.js and many more) via different approaches. The project is especially interesting if you further on wish to continue as a software developer, architect, metrology engineer, embedded developer, materials characterization analyst, testing engineer as well as materials engineer.

Type of project: Combination of internship and thesis

Duration: 6 months

Required degree: Master of Engineering Technology; Master of Science; Master of Engineering Science

Required background: Computer Science; Electrotechnics/Electrical Engineering; Nanoscience & Nanotechnology; Physics

Supervising scientist: For further information or for application, please contact Praveen Dara (

Imec allowance will be provided for students studying at a non-Belgian university.

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