Area-selective depositions enabled by surface modulation

Leuven - PhD
More than two weeks ago

Area-selective deposition, self-alignment and bottom-up nanotechnology as technology boosters for sub 10nm nodes


This PhD project aims to develop novel processes for selective area deposition (ASD) for use in the semiconductor manufacturing industry. 

The ASD concept, together with bottom-up and self-aligned schemes are the most promising technology boosters in IC manufaturing.  

As an example, innovative ASD concepts might exploit the combination of three steps: a) Surface preparation using plasma surface functionalization or organic grafting chemistry to passivate or activate selected areas of the substrate; b) selective deposition of an inorganic dielectric film (by atomic layer deposition, chemical vapor deposition or electroless deposition) at selected area of the substrate; c) development of a selective stray defects removal step compatible with the deposited films.

Critical for success is the development of an understanding of the surface/interface chemistries/reactions induced by plasma processing or chemical grafting as this provides the platform for the remainder of the research program.

The development of suitable metrology and characterization techniques and the fundamental understanding and modification of existing models will be a substantial part of the post-doc program. Various tools have been used to characterize organic surfaces with varying degrees of success and detail. The most popular has been X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy which can monitor the density of the grafted functional groups. XPS is also useful for the measurement of the thickness of thin plasma coatings, via overlayer equations. Total x-ray fluorescence can be used to estimate the functional groups density assumed the labeling atom can be detected by such a technique (i.e. Br, etc...). Other techniques such as ellipsometry and atomic force microscopies (AFM) can be used to measure the thickness but require the development of suitable models. Attenuated total reflectance FT-IR spectroscopy can be used to identify the chemical groups together with their derivatization or extraction.  Characterization of structures with dimensions approaching those of atoms is required. Several advanced techniques for the characterization of nano-structures have recently been developed: various kinds of microscopy, gas-adsorption porosimetry, ellipsometry, transmission neutron and x-ray scattering with specular x-ray reflectivity, and grazing incidence scattering. However, no all-encompassing technique is currently available. Thus, a synergistic approach, i.e. the application in combination of various analytical techniques to obtain results superior to those obtained with each individual technique, is necessary and will be explored in this work.

Principle Duties and Responsibilities: The PhD candidate will · Acquire a wide knowledge of plasma processing/plasma diagnostics and surface engineering by grafting or organic films  relevant to the work program outlined above · Be able to identify key problems, generate novel solutions and reduce them to practice · Disseminate the results of such activities to internal colleagues/partners and capture relevant intellectual property via patent applications and/or publish results in high impact journals and conferences · Bring an energetic and enterprising approach to the execution of the research program · Potentiate inter-personal skills suitable for playing a role at the center of a complex multidisciplinary teams · Be alert to unexpected opportunities arising during the research · Assist with the training of graduated or undergraduate students working in the area of the project · Develop written and oral communication skills.

Type of work: The main aspects of the described work are: technology study combined with fundamental understanding of surface reactions, interface structure and nanoscale material engineering and it is mainly experimental. Nevertheless, modeling opportunities via collaborations might also be part of the PhD work.

Required background: chemistry, chemical engineering, material science, physics

Type of work: 70%experimental20%modeling10%literature

Supervisor: Stefan De Gendt

Daily advisor: Silvia Armini

The reference code for this position is 1812-46. Mention this reference code on your application form.


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