The increasing trend of mobile devices and the Internet of Things is driving the miniaturization of various functionalities and circuitry on chips including bulky passive elements such as inductors that are conventionally integrated off-chip. High inductance density is necessary for on-chip or in-package inductors to reduce the chip area and minimize the package footprint. The integration of different magnetic materials into on-chip or in-package inductors has been investigated recently for RF and/or power applications. Conventionally, ferrites are used as magnetic core materials for low frequency application due to their high electrical resistivity and low eddy current losses. However, at high frequencies, above typically a few 10 MHz, ferrites show large magnetic losses due to ferromagnetic resonance as a result of their comparatively their low saturation magnetization. Materials such as CoFe can work at high frequencies but are highly conductive, which leads to important eddy current losses in the RF frequency range.
The goal of the internship or thesis is to design novel thin film magnetic materials for RF inductors. The targeted frequency range will be above 100 MHz (for power applications) up to GHz (for microwave inductors). The task will be to co-optimize magnetic properties (permeability, ferromagnetic resonance frequency) and resistivity to obtain magnetic materials and thin films with suitable properties. The starting point will be conventional soft magnetic materials with high saturation magnetization. In a next step, combinatorial research will be employed to study the effect of compositional variation and the incorporation of additional elements. This will be done by combining in depth magnetic (including ferromagnetic resonance), electric, as well as structural characterization of the resulting materials. The work will be performed in collaboration with analog device design research at imec, providing both target specifications as well as an assessment of the optimized materials properties from an inductor point of view.
The student will learn hands-on experience in a broad range of materials characterization techniques and gain insight on the interplay between magnetic, electric, and structural materials properties. She or he should have a strong interest in materials science and thin film characterization as well as in leading edge research on magnetism and magnetic materials.
Type of project: Internship, Thesis, Combination of internship and thesis
Duration: >6 months
Required degree: Master of Engineering Technology, Master of Science, Master of Engineering Science
Required background: Chemistry/Chemical Engineering, Electrotechnics/Electrical Engineering, Materials Engineering, Nanoscience & Nanotechnology, Physics
Supervising scientist(s): For further information or for application, please contact: Christoph Adelmann (Christoph.Adelmann@imec.be) and Xiao Sun (Xiao.Sun@imec.be) and Diogo Costa (Diogo.Costa@imec.be) and Jean-Philippe Soulie (Jean-Philippe.Soulie@imec.be)
Only for self-supporting students