PhD Candidate in Materials Science

Updated: 3 months ago
Job Type: Temporary
Deadline: 09 Jan 2023

Are you fascinated by advancing semi-conductor technology and the implementation of novel materials and processing approaches? Do you, in cooperation with industrial users, like to apply your knowledge and skills to experimentally study material properties and component processing procedures with the aim to demonstrate enhanced component/electronic circuit lifetimes?

Your research project will be an integral part of the NWO perspective Circular Circuits programme. This programme aims to overcome technical, economic and societal bottlenecks for lifetime extension, reuse, repair, refurbishment and recycling through the development of a new generation of electronic components, product-service design and advanced recycling technology. Circular innovations will result in an elimination of the concept of e-waste and to substantial savings of (critical) raw materials and energy. The programme is executed by a large consortium of academic research groups and associated industrial partners.

With the ambition to design extremely robust or fully reusable or recyclable microelectronics, a switch in materials and design used is foreseen in the production of semiconductor devices. An important challenge is imposed by the ongoing EU legislation restricting the use of hazardous materials, such as Pb, which urges the exploration and implementation of alternative materials and processes. Such a switch in materials/design will have a direct impact on the durability of the product. Understanding the processes in current microelectronics using models and measurements can help to assess the impact on the major damage originating processes, allowing fast development of new materials and processes for future microelectronic products.

Your tasks will be (i) to prepare samples/devices based on novel metallisation schemes and component integration approaches under controlled cleanroom conditions, (ii) to perform accelerated life-time testing and assessment of sample/device degradation utilising various techniques for material analysis and dedicated equipment for device performance analysis, and (iii) to determine and optimise the most promising metallisation/integration approach to extent the integrated component lifetime to the same level or beyond that of the previous non-sustainable technology. Furthermore you will be involved in training and teaching BSc and MSc students (up to 10% of your working time).

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