Large area capacitive MEMS for flexible electronics

Leuven - PhD
More than two weeks ago

Develop electrostatic based technology for mechanical components on large areas



Micro electromechanical systems have demonstrated a disruptive change in the world of sensors and actuators. Using micro-machining technologies, the measurement of physical parameters such as motion, acceleration, pressure,... became possible on miniaturized silicon die level. This enabled the incorporation of such sensors in mobile applications, with high signal-to-noise measurements. One of the promising operation principles is the use of small air gaps between two capacitive plates, with demonstrations in accelerometers, pressure sensors and acoustic transducers.

In the past years, imec has led the development of novel technologies that demonstrate such capacitive MEMS actuators and sensors on silicon. There is an increasing interest to produce large arrays of such sensors, for example to read-out an ultrasonic response of a pulse-echo system for medical imaging. In this case, a large area technology is more applicable. The Large Area Electronics (LAE) technology platform allows to produce passive and active components in thin-film frameworks with world-leading performance and in flexible form factors. The driving and read-out of larger sensor arrays is similar to a display architecture, where the components are fabricated on glass or on flexible sheets.


The purpose of this PhD is to design, process and characterize capacitive MEMS in the Large Area Electronics platform, capable of forming 2D sensing and actuation arrays. Key challenges to be addressed are the development of efficient capacitive devices with thin-film technologies reaching state-of-the-art signal to noise ratio at the individual element.

The candidate

You are a highly motivated recent graduate holding a master's degree in nano-engineering, physics, material science, electrical engineering, or related. You have an interest in the processing of thin-film semiconductors, mechanical effects in such layers, and electrical and mechanical characterization. You will be expected to work safely in a cleanroom environment and acquire processing and lab skills. It is expected that you will present results regularly. You are a team player and have good communication skills as you will work in a multidisciplinary and multicultural team spanning several imec departments. Given the international character of imec, an excellent knowledge of English is a must.

Required background: Electrical engineering, physics or materials Science

Type of work: 15% literature study, 35% modeling and design, 50% processing and characterization

Supervisor: Paul Heremans

Daily advisor: David Cheyns, Veronique Rochus

The reference code for this position is 2020-109. Mention this reference code on your application form.
Chinese nationals who wish to apply for the CSC scholarship, should use the following code when applying for this topic: CSC2020-58.


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