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/Job opportunities/Wet-chemical approaches for surface and interface processing of two-dimensional MX2 semiconductors

Wet-chemical approaches for surface and interface processing of two-dimensional MX2 semiconductors

PhD - Leuven | More than two weeks ago

You will be involved in state-of-the-art process research and will benefit from our extensive know-how on materials science for nanoelectronics applications.

It is expected that in the 2030 timeframe, CMOS technology nodes could include not only Si based transistors, but also possible ‘Beyond-CMOS’ devices that are co-integrated with the classical CMOS-based solutions. The alternative devices could be used along CMOS for specific functions. For instance, devices are being explored that have two-dimensional transition-metal dichalcogenides (MX2) as their conduction channel.


While fabrication strategies for Si and SiGe based CMOS technologies are well established, the use of 2D MX2 semiconductors as channel material poses new problems. In such device applications, etching remains an essential step (e.g. layer selective etching, recessing and contamination removal). In contrast to conventional dry etching techniques that can damage the MX2 monolayer, wet-chemical etching provides a simple alternative for obtaining high quality surfaces. The atomic-layer-scale dimensions, however, require ultimate etching selectivity while maintaining the chemical and physical properties of the 2D layer. In order to meet these goals, fundamental understanding is needed on the processes that occur at the MX2/electrolyte interface. These insights will not only enable novel device architectures but will also contribute to the surface and interface passivation research that is done within imec.


As a PhD student, you will learn to work in a highly dynamic and multicultural environment and be exposed to a large variety of analytical techniques and experimental methods. Insight in surface chemical composition and band energetics will be obtained by both ex-situ and post operando x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and high-resolution synchrotron radiation photoemission spectroscopy (SRPES). These studies on atomic scale etching and passivation will be complemented with ICP-MS measurements, time resolved photoluminescence and electrochemical gating experiments to relate surface chemistry to the optical and electronic properties of 2D MX2 materials. Other physical characterization techniques like elastic recoil detection analysis (ERDA), electrical measurements, atomic force microscopy (AFM), scanning and transmission electron microscopy (SEM, TEM) are available to support your exploratory work.

Required background: Materials science (chemistry and physics).

Type of work: 60% experiments, 25 % interpretation, 15% literature study and writing

Supervisor: Stefan De Gendt

Daily advisor: Dennis van Dorp

The reference code for this position is 2021-130. Mention this reference code on your application form.