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/Job opportunities/Probing strained 2D materials with Tip-Enhanced Nano-spectroscopy

Probing strained 2D materials with Tip-Enhanced Nano-spectroscopy

Research & development - Leuven | More than two weeks ago

Deep-dive into the nano-version of Raman and PL spectroscopy as it uniquely reveals the properties of tomorrow's semiconductor materials

Thanks to unique physical and electrical properties (atomically thin, stretchable and strong with configurable electronic bandgap,...) there is great interest in the development of two-dimensional (2D) transition metal dichalcogenides (MX2) such as MoS2, WS2, MoSe2, and WSe2. These promising materials consist of van der Waals-bonded nanosheets much like graphene and their properties depend greatly on the material quality and thickness (number of layers). Additionally, due to their inherent remarkable mechanical flexibility and strength, these 2D materials provide an ideal platform for strain engineering.

Optical spectroscopy techniques like Photoluminescence (PL) and Raman spectroscopy, which involve the interactions of the photons with electrons and phonons, are an extremely effective way to study the optical and electronic properties of strained MX2 materials. At imec, a variety of routes is explored to reliably fabricate MX2 devices on a large scale, and this research requires fast and high-quality metrology to support and improve the processing. However, the ever-reducing dimensions of devices and the length scales related to the phenomena of interest are usually incompatible with the relatively large, diffraction-limited, probe area of micro-Raman and micro-PL spectroscopy. This challenge can be tackled by using Tip-Enhanced Nano-spectroscopy (TENS) which is a clever coupling between optical spectroscopy (Raman /PL) and Scanning Probe Microscopy to translate the versatility of spectroscopy into nanometer-sized spatial resolutions.

In this internship, we start off by familiarizing ourselves with the material and field of research, including hands-on training on imec’s fully equipped TENS instrument. Next, the student will actively participate in the characterization of state-of-the-art MX2 devices, and the systematic interpretation of the resulting nano-spectroscopy data. Eventually, crucial insight will be obtained into the opto-electronic behavior of strained MX2 materials and its influence on device performance.

Type of project: Thesis, Combination of internship and thesis

Duration: Full academic year

Required degree: Master of Engineering Technology, Master of Science, Master of Engineering Science, Master of Bioengineering

Required background: Chemistry/Chemical Engineering, Electromechanical engineering, Electrotechnics/Electrical Engineering, Materials Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Nanoscience & Nanotechnology, Physics

Supervising scientist(s): For further information or for application, please contact: Zoheb Khan ( and Thomas Nuytten (

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