nanoJOBS – Careers in Nanotechnology

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Postdoctoral Researcher Scanning Probe Microscopy for Advanced Materials
Employer: imec
Location: Leuven, Belgium
Employment Start Date: As soon as possible

Organization Description:

Imec is the world-leading research and innovation hub in nanoelectronics and digital technologies. The combination of our widely acclaimed leadership in microchip technology and profound software and ICT expertise is what makes us unique. By leveraging our world-class infrastructure and local and global ecosystem of partners across a multitude of industries, we create groundbreaking innovation in application domains such as healthcare, smart cities and mobility, logistics and manufacturing, and energy.


As a trusted partner for companies, start-ups and universities we bring together close to 3,500 brilliant minds from over 70 nationalities. Imec is headquartered in Leuven, Belgium and also has distributed R&D groups at a number of Flemish universities, in the Netherlands, Taiwan, USA, China, and offices in India and Japan. All of these particular traits make imec to be a top-class employer. To strengthen this position as a leading player in our field, we are looking for those passionate talents that make the difference!


Job Description:

Imec’s Materials and Components Analysis unit is looking for a Postdoctoral Researcher to reinforce the Scanning Probe Microscopy (SPM) team. This team is responsible for:

  •     Providing fast and reliable electrical and non-electrical measurements based on SPM concepts (AFM, C-AFM, SSRM, TUNA, PFM, SCM, KPFM, etc.) to support the technological development of all imec programs.
  •     Performing world leading research to cope with future metrology challenges such as the continuous shrinking dimensions, novel materials and new architectures.

Being at the forefront of characterization, we have a unique position in close contact with most of the latest developments of all imec programs. Technically, the SPM team is at present operating different state of the art SPM-tools covering UHV-STM/AFM based tools, regular AFM-systems as well as tailored versions, typically developed in collaboration with the manufacturer to meet our requirements. 

With current Si scaling technology entering the sub 10nm regime, a multitude of novel materials and physical concepts are being investigated as potential replacement for Si technology. Examples are transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDs) and CNT’s as high mobility materials, ferro-electric materials for future FeRAM memories, thin magnetic films for future STT-MRAM and Magnetic Tunnel Junctions, GaN for high power devices, IGZO for integration in the back end, etc.
As the properties of these advanced -and typically ultrathin- materials differ substantially from typical CMOS materials and their bulk-like counterparts, new metrology concepts are required to probe their fundamental characteristics at the nanoscale. Scanning Probe Microscopy, as an inherent high-resolution 2D technique, is therefore the ideal starting point to gain in-depth understanding on these advanced materials and eventually provide feedback on process optimization. Electrical AFM based techniques allow to investigate the impact of grain boundaries, domain size, layer thickness, composition, crystallinity, defectivity, conductivity, carrier concentration, etc. on the final material performance. Using the Scalpel approach, even 3-dimensional information can be extracted. Complemented and combined in hybrid concepts with well-established analysis techniques (such as optical spectroscopy, XPS, TEM, etc.), This project should lead to new characterization methodologies for the materials of interest.
The candidate should thus have the ambition and skills to modify established and/or to propose new metrology concepts required to probe the relevant material properties at scaled dimensions. We are looking for an expert in SPM surface analysis and materials characterization. The candidate will closely interact with the staff of the Materials and Components Analysis team as well as with students, post-docs, device and process engineers working in this field and help them unravel the properties of their material and devices by creating the methodologies for that purpose.


Who you are

  •     You obtained a PhD in Physics, (Nano-) Materials engineering, Surface Chemistry or equivalent.
  •     Knowledge and profound experience in (electrical) scanning probe based surface analysis and characterization is a must. Knowledge and experience of various other metrology techniques (e.g. XPS, optical spectroscopy, TEM) is a strong asset.
  •     We value your analytical skills, interest in how things are measured, and how data is interpreted.
  •     You can work autonomously, are well organized, have a good attention to detail and value quality.
  •     Given the experimental character of the position, you are not afraid to work with/adapt/maintain tools.
  •     You are an enthusiastic and self-motivated team player with good communication and reporting skills.
  •     Given the international character of imec, fluency in English is a must.

This postdoctoral position is funded by imec through KU Leuven. Because of the specific financing statute which targets international mobility for postdocs, only candidates who did not stay or work/study in Belgium for more than 24 months in the past 3 years can be considered for the position (short stays such as holiday, participation in conferences, etc. are not taken into account).

Job Application:

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Date Posted: April 11, 2018