/Low-noise silicon CMOS compatible thin-film photodiode-based image sensor

Low-noise silicon CMOS compatible thin-film photodiode-based image sensor

PhD - Leuven | More than two weeks ago

Your TFPD (thin-film photodiode) camera in the next smartphone!


Image sensors are everywhere. Continued development over the past decades has perfectioned image sensor technology and now state-of-the-art imagers are reaching the theoretical limit of classical photography. At the same time, thin-film materials, such as organic, quantum-dot, perovskites, etc., are being researched as alternative photodetectors thanks to numerous advantages such as higher absorption coefficient, different bandwidth and infrared detection capability, just to name a few. However, image sensors based on these foreign materials have (up to now) not been widely deployed because of comparably higher noise while not being fully compatible to the current CMOS Image Sensors (CIS).



Imec has state of the art technology to develop thin-film photodiodes (TFPD). We are well-recognized in terms of highest pixel density and highest short-wave-infrared (SWIR) quantum efficiency in a TFPD imagers. The goal of this PhD is to develop thin-film-based pixels that are fully compatible with CMOS image sensor devices and technologies to advance next generation consumer grade image sensors. This will add great value to the current cameras by adding additional functionalities to the image sensors, for example by making it to sensitive to SWIR. This research topic encompasses topics from quantum mechanical effects to solid state physics through circuit design and digital photography. To do so, literature study will be a first step to investigate different device concepts, explore their limits and potential and identify promising new avenues.  Following steps will be the design and validation of these new devices using TCAD, lab experiments, layout of test structures, implementation of the device into imec’s imager platforms in collaboration with our technology experts, development of the required measurement techniques and the characterization of your fabricated devices.


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 a strong knowledge on solid state device physics and basic circuit design capability plus interest in digital photography.  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: nano-engineering, physics, materials science or electrical engineering with strong affinity for device physics

Type of work: 10% literature study, 20% simulation, 20% lab experiment, 20% design, 30% characterization

Supervisor: Paul Heremans

Co-supervisor: Jan Genoe

Daily advisor: Jiwon Lee, Itai Lieberman

The reference code for this position is 2022-108. Mention this reference code on your application form.