/A study to the mechanical properties of silicon and silica nano-membranes

A study to the mechanical properties of silicon and silica nano-membranes

Internship/thesis - Leuven | More than two weeks ago

Exploring the building blocks of nano/microscale mechanical elements.

Silica and silicon exhibit extraordinary mechanical properties when their dimensions approach the nanometric scale, i.e., yield strengths surpassing the one of metals and a lower modulus, leading to ultra-high flexural rigidity. High flexural rigidity is attractive for mechanical elements that undergo large deformations e.g., for flexures in precision-mechanic or fluidic devices. Such flexures are essential for micro/nano actuators and for the next generation of microfluidic devices.   

The goal of the master's thesis/internship project will be to study the mechanical strength/modulus of nanomembranes fabricated using various micro/nanofabrication techniques. The work will be mostly experimental, supported by finite-element simulations to develop accurate solid mechanics model for the nanomembranes. The student will work in close collaboration with a researcher throughout the project. An understanding on the basic principles of the solid-state physics and/or continuum-mechanics will be developed during the project as well as experimental techniques, such as prototype fabrication, imagining, and data processing. The project output will serve as a reliable source of information for designers to develop the next generation of actuators using ultra-thin silicon/silica membranes.  

Techniques to be learned: Mechanical testing, fabrication of nanometre thick membranes, solid state physics.  

Type of Project: Combination of internship and thesis 

Master's degree: Master of Engineering Technology; Master of Science; Master of Engineering Science; Master of Bioengineering 

Master program: Materials Engineering; Mechanical Engineering; Nanoscience & Nanotechnology; Physics 

Duration: 3 - 6 months 

Supervisor: Liesbet Lagae

For more information or application, please contact Pieter Vlugter (pieter.vlugter@imec.be)

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