Adaptive control of a high-energy accelerator based measurement system

Leuven - Master projects/internships
Meer dan twee weken geleden

Control and automate a large hardware and data acquisition system

A wide variety of front edge nano-electronic devices and applications (transistors, memories, solar cells,...) are investigated at imec. To verify the properties of the extremely challenging new devices (sub-22 nm technology) high-end characterization tools are essential. In this framework accelerator based characterization is one of the approaches that is pursued. For this, imec operates a 2 million Volt tandem particle accelerator, connected to multiple beam-lines and high-vacuum detection end-stations. Continuous investments in hardware and detection systems allow us to be internationally at the forefront in terms of ion-beam based characterization of nano-electronic devices.

This project aims to further develop the control concept and application (WASP) originally developed at imec. The project enables to control a medium-large dynamic constellation of instruments in a modular and naturally multi-threaded way. Devices and instruments can be added or deleted dynamically during the proces. The software concept allows to communicate with single devices through Ethernet (TCP/IP) and RS232/RS485 (via Serial-Ethernet gateways) and with the user through a user-friendly graphical interface (GUI) as well as support for a flexible scripting language capability. The signals from various virtual instruments are accessible to both the GUI as well as to scripts that can be run in a command-like environment.


The aim is now to develop adaptive control, i.e. to use readout signals from the tool to optimize the operation.    


The main tasks will be:

(i)               To implement a communication driver, so-called daemon or service, to read out analog values from the tool, and to implement a corresponding graphical user interface to run with Windows’ Hypertext Application environment (HTA).

(ii)             Similarly to implement a communication driver to digitally control an analog parameter of the tool (set-parameter).

(iii)           To design and implement adaptive control of the set-parameter based on the value of one or more read-parameters, using for example PID or fuzzy logic. It includes the design of the feed-back mechanism using C/C++ and/or Python.

The project covers aspects of human-machine interfacing, IOT, automation and smart systems.

Type of project: Thesis, Combination of internship and thesis

Duration: 6 months

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

Required background: Computer Science, Electrotechnics/Electrical Engineering

Supervising scientist(s): For further information or for application, please contact: Johan Meersschaut (

Imec allowance will be provided

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