Postdoctoral Researcher in Plasma Etching Microfluidic Devices

Updated: about 1 hour ago

The Faculty of Engineering, Department Chemische ingenieurstechnieken en industriële scheikunde, Research Group No Large Research Group is looking for a postdoctoral researcher with a grant

More concretely your work package, for the validation of your doctoral research, contains: 

µFlow Cell is a multidisciplinary research group of the VUB that works on the upscaling of microfluidics for pharmaceutical, biotechnological or medical applications.
µFlow Cell is recognized and supported by VUB as a Group of Excellence in Advanced Research (GEAR). The group has several research lines that are further developed with the financial support of the Brussels Government via Innoviris, the Flemish Government via FWO and VLAIO, the European Union via Horizon Europe, or through direct collaborations with interested companies.

To support the activities of µFlow Cell, VUB is also building a new cleanroom (MICROLAB) for microfabrication in silicon and glass for microfluidics, which will be operational in the third quarter of 2024. MICROLAB has a floorspace of 550 m², of which 300 m² will be equipped with the most advanced machines for every essential production step in microfabrication.
µFlow Cell is now looking for a postdoctoral researcher who will participate in the project ‘Novel Approaches for Halogen-free and Sustainable Etching of Silicon and Glass (HaloFreeEtch)’. This project is supported by the European Innovation Council (EIC) as a Pathfinder project, part of the Challenge ‘Responsible Electronics’. In the next 4 years, starting 01/09/24, teams of the VUB, Technical University Chemnitz, Fraunhofer ENAS, University of Graz, PlasmaSolve, LioniX, and Warrant Hub, will research and develop halogen-free plasma etching processes. The µFlow Cell team of Prof. De Malsche will focus on halogen-free etching of glass, making use of the latest state-of-the-art plasma equipment at the new core facility MICROLAB.

While the European Chemical Agency (ECHA) is banning the use of fluorochemicals because of their detrimental effects on the environment and health, the European Commission (EC) has launched the European Chips Act  to bring semiconductor manufacturing back to Europe. The only way to merge both ambitions is to develop novel semiconductor manufacturing processes, free from fluor and other halogen compounds. With MICROLAB and the HaloFreeEtch project, the µFlow Cell wants to make a significant contribution to this transition.

As postdoctoral researcher you will at least be responsible for the following tasks.

•    Plasma etching process development for glass and silicon using halogen-free precursors.
•    Design and implement machine modifications (hardware and software) to enable these novel processes.
•    Design and fabrication of microfluidic chips in silicon, glass and polymers.
•    Design and construction of new experimental setups in which the chips can be tested.
•    Design, conduct, analyse and report experiments.
•    Interact with other academic researchers and industrial research groups.
•    Prepare and attend technical meetings with internal or external customers.
•    Contribute to writing scientific publications with the team
•    Co-supervise Master students and interact with PhD students working on related topics
•    Maintain order, safety and quality in your workspace.
You will be supervised by Prof. Wim De Malsche.
For the HaloFreeEtch project, you will work in a team of 4-5 colleagues. This team is embedded in a larger group of 15-20 researchers working on microfluidics.

For this function, our Brussels Humanities, Sciences & Engineering Campus (Elsene) will serve as your home base. 

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