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PhD position: Interface engineering of ferroelectric HfO2 in novel FETs

Advertising institute: PGI-6 - Electronic Properties
Reference number: D044/2018, Physics, materials science

Start of work: at once/as soon as possible

Research Topic:
Edge computing requires highly energy efficient microprocessor units with embedded non-volatile memories (eNVM) to process data at the source. Current eFLASH technology is limited by low write speed, high power consumption and low endurance. Alternative fast, low power and high endurance eNVM could greatly enhance energy efficiency and allow flexibility for finer grain of logic and memory. Ferroelectric RAM (FeRAM) has the highest endurance of all emerging NVMs. The new ferroelectric material Hf(Zr)O2 promises to make FeRAM a competitive NVM candidate. Its compatibility with Si processing will facilitate integration and improve manufacturability. Different cell architectures based on capacitors or ferroelectric FETs will give unprecedented flexibility for “fine-grained” logic–in-memory (LiM) circuits, which allow data storage close to logic circuits, reduces energy and cost of data transfer.

Topic Description:
Within an EU funded Project a team of 8 partners, including a major European semiconductor company, the leader in the field of ferroelectric HfO2 and a large technology laboratory, originating from 5 EU states, will join forces to deliver experimental demonstrators creating the opportunity for the EU industry to establish a dominant position in IoT innovative components market. The work calls on the full spectrum of expertise from advanced materials synthesis and characterization, processing, design and integration. PGI-6 contributes its expertise on advanced materials characterization using Hard X-ray Photoelectron Spectromicroscopy (HAXPES).

Your PhD Project:
The project is dedicated to the advanced characterization, including probing of the interface layer structure using in operando hard X-ray photoemission. Key is to achieve best structural, physical and electrical properties of doped HfO2. The goal is to disentangle the effects of interfaces on charge transport in heterostructures, correlation between polarization, electronic properties of electrode interfaces and leakage currents. Optimized conditions are targeting prerequisites for manufacturing demonstrators of CMOS-compatible ferroelectric HfO2.

Your Profile:
The new member of our team should have completed master-level degree in physics or material science and should have a solid background in condensed matter physics.
Additionally the project requires

  • Strong interest in pursuing research with synchrotron radiation
  • The willingness to work at different synchrotron radiation facilities Europe-wide
  • Good organizational skills
  • Ability to work independently
  • Ability to work as part of an international team
  • Good skills in spoken and written English

Practical experimental skills and hands-on experience with vacuum technique and thin film deposition would be beneficial.

Our Offer:
Within the PGI-6 Institute you will be part of a group dedicated to the research on spintronic applications of magnetic oxides. Work in this group opens up the opportunities of

  • An excellent environment to perform high-quality research at the international level
  • Possibility to participate on national and international conferences and meetings
  • Possibility to perform a PhD within 3 years
  • Salary and social benefits in conformity with the provisions of the Collective Agreement for the Civil Service (75% EG13 TVöD-Bund)

Forschungszentrum Jülich aims to employ more women in this area and therefore particularly welcomes applications from women.

We also welcome applications from disabled persons.

Prof. Dr. Martina Müller
Peter Grünberg Institut (PGI-6)
Forschungszentrum Jülich

Tel.: 02461 61-4831