/On a quest to unlock the growth of high mobility two-dimensional materials through atomic layer deposition

On a quest to unlock the growth of high mobility two-dimensional materials through atomic layer deposition

PhD - Leuven | More than two weeks ago

You will unlock material chemistry challenges to enable the development of material innovation in tomorrow’s memory and logic nanoelectronic devices through a unique international project.  

You will unlock material chemistry challenges to enable the development of material innovation in tomorrow’s memory and logic nanoelectronic devices through a unique international project. 
 
Novel two-dimensional materials, and especially semi-conducting transition metal dichalcogenides (MX2, with M being a transition metal and X a chalcogen) offer advanced functionality in complex and ultra-scaled integrated systems. In view of their compelling electronicand electrical performances as an atomically thin monolayer, imec explores their integration for various applications and systems, in particular for advanced CMOS and memory technologies in a beyond silicon roadmap. The deposition of high-quality materials is highly challenging due to the high aspect ratios requirements of advanced 3D architectures. Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD) is a promising technique in this respect, as it can in principle enable conformal deposition on 3D structures with a thickness and composition control at the atomic level [1,2,3]. 
 
However, factors such as identifying the chemical precursors to be used, understanding the film growth mechanisms, quantifying how the surface treatments and the chemistry used affect the electrical performances of the MX2 material are key elements that need to be understood and engineered to unlock the conformal deposition of high mobility transition metal dichalcogenides.
 
In this project, the Ph.D. candidate will contribute to an international effort that blends modelling insights, chemical precursor design, and on-scale demonstration to address these growth and material challenges. He/she will perform his/her Ph.D. research through a shared position between the MX2 growth team of imec, KU Leuven and the department of Applied Physics of Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e). The candidate will explore and quantify how different inhibiting surface treatments can be exploited to control the nucleation of MX2 materials. Different complementary characterization techniques will be combined to provide understanding of the nucleation mechanism during ALD. The insight will be used to boost the electrical performances of the deposited film. The semiconductor properties and conformality will be investigated on nanoscale patterned structures.
 
The project will leverage the NanoLab@TU/e facilities with both the imec 300mm production and atomistic modelling platforms for advanced node CMOS technologies to identify new precursors and to grow conformal MX2 films on patterned structures with topography and dimensions down to tens of nanometers.

[1] M. Mattinen et al., Adv. Mater. Interfaces 2021, 8, 2001677
[2] S. Balasubramanyam et al., ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces 2020, 12, 3, 3873–3885
[3] B. Groven et al., Chem. Mater. 2018, 30, 21, 7648–7663
 

Required background: Chemistry, Physics, Materials, Nanotechnology  

Type of work: 10% literature study, 90% experimental work  

Supervisor: Annelies Delabie

Daily advisor: Benjamin Groven & Pierre Morin

The reference code for this position is 2022-135. Mention this reference code on your application form.