Scientific direction Development of key enabling technologies
Transfer of knowledge to industry

PhD : selection by topics

Co-optimization of a bio-inspired image sensor and scene analysing technics

Département Architectures Conception et Logiciels Embarqués (LIST-LETI)

Laboratoire Adéquation Algorithmes Architecture



Artificial vision systems (camera(s) and processor(s)) have recognition capabilities well below those achieved by biological systems (eye - cortex). Moreover, biological systems are able to process information within a few milliseconds, which is still out of range of electronic systems, even though their electronic image sensors are far from achieving the resolution of human eyes (few dozen megapixel against more than one hundred million). This thesis aims at addressing the challenge posed by the biology by designing integrated bio-inspired sensor architectures. Our approach is based three assumptions: first, resolution biological imaging sensors is not uniform, the best resolved zone (the fovea) is dedicated to the acquisition of the areas of interest of the scene; secondly, pre-processing from the sensor are used to compress the information; finally, the processing of information is context and prior knowledge dependent. This exploratory thesis, aims to devise, within the frame of these hypothesis, breakthrough solutions with respect to the state of the art, to endow autonomous artificial systems (drones of all kinds (UAV, UGV, ...), machine tools, smart camera) of ability to perception of their complex environment, while using only limited resources, i.e. those of embedded systems. The candidate should have strong tastes or skills in image processing and digital architectures.

Toward the Next generation of Non Volatile Phase-Change Memory Targeting Ultra-Low Power Consumption

Département Composants Silicium (LETI)

Laboratoire de Composants Mémoires



The goal of the PhD is to contribute to the development of the next generation of Non-Volatile Phase Change Memory (PCM) that target low power applications. Since this technology bases its functionality on the Joule heating, the thermal optimization of the PCM cell becomes the key point of this work. In this context, the candidate will contribute to the following tasks: multi-physical simulations to understand the impact of the interfaces and the thermal barriers on the programming current of the cell; physicochemical characterization of the different materials envisaged as thermal barriers; analysis of new phase change materials by DRX, FTIR, TEM, photo-thermal radiometry, etc. ; electrical characterization of memory devices integrating optimized thermal barriers and innovative phase change materials; development and fabrication of an "ultimate" PCM device that can be the precursor of the new generation of PCM devices. In addition, the student will be involved in the collaboration with external laboratories, experts at the international level in the field of heat transport.

Electrical characterization of trap-rich layers applied to RF substrate performances

Département Composants Silicium (LETI)

Laboratoire de Caractérisation et Test Electrique



The goal of this thesis is to study trap-rich layers embedded in SOI-RF substrates. Material properties (morphology, electrical properties, trapping effects) will be linked with RF performances. First, the work will be focused on the determination of the traps features. Specific techniques such as Thermally Stimulated Current (TSC) or Current-Deep Level Transient Spectroscopy (I-DLTS) will be developed to achieve this task. Results of the electrical characterization will be compared with physical properties supplied from data bases for a set of technological variants. In the same time, different ways to perform samples will be investigated to adapt the structures to the measurements. Results of the electrical characterization of the trap-rich layers will be compared with RF performances of the SOI substrates. Soitec will provide results from RF measurements and the physical model developed by Soitec will be enhanced.

Elaboration and transfer of tensile strained thin films

Département Technologies Silicium (LETI)




Applying tensile strain in a single semiconductor crystal (eg germanium) is a very promising way to tune it into a direct band gap semiconductor. This basic feature can be applied to major outstanding goals of semiconductor and mainly optoelectronic applications. The PhD thesis is devoted to the elaboration of a tensile strain thin film of semiconductor on a whole 200 or 300 mm substrate. The first step will consist in the transfer of the thin film onto a flexible substrate. The flexible substrate should allow creating a stress onto the thin film. The resulting stressed film will then be transfer again onto a rigid substrate for next process. Beyond the development of thoses various transfer process, the work will consist in the characterization of the states of the thin film at each step from the electronic and mechanical points of view (XRD, XPS, TEM?). The characterization technics will be adapted to the configuration of the sample thin film transferred onto a flexible or rigid substrate. General knowledges in material physics and chemistry are required.

Protection of integrated circuits against aging attacks

Département Architectures Conception et Logiciels Embarqués (LIST-LETI)

Laboratoire Calcul Embarqué



The thesis is related to the field of embedded systems security. Recently, new attacks on integrated circuits exploiting aging mechanisms (in particular the NBTI mechanism) have appeared. The aim of this research project is to investigate hardware or software protection techniques against these aging attacks. As a first step, the PhD student will have to carry out an exhaustive analysis of possible aging attacks, as well as the vulnerability of the circuits to the possible aging attacks. In a second step, he/she will have to analyze the effectiveness of the existing countermeasures and carry out a quantitative and qualitative comparison of these techniques. In a third step, he/she will have to propose new protection techniques specific for the studied attacks. Finally, he/she will have to implement the best protection techniques on a multi-core architecture. The candidate must have experience in the design of embedded systems and knowledge of circuit reliability/safety.

Innovative CVD growth of Metal-Organic Frameworks thin films

Département Technologies Silicium (LETI)




Metal Organic Frameworks (MOFs) are periodic hybrid organic-inorganic crystalline materials issued form the periodic assembly of inorganic metallic nodes with polytopic organic bridging ligands. Among these materials, some identified structures have emerged which display nano-sized permanent microporosity coupled to a very large thermal and chemical stability. These materials have several potential applications (sensors, catalysts, insulators, battery electrolytes, materials for optoelectronic and non-linear optics). In particular, their very large specific surface areas (> 7000 m²/g, among the largest recorded for any materials) make them very uniquely adequate for applications in gas-separation or sensing. These materials are generally synthetized via solution methods, which complicate the growth of performing thin films. Very recently, the first reports of Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD) and/or Molecular Layer Deposition (MLD) routes have appeared. These breakthroughs pave the way to applications in micro- and nanotechnologies. The work proposed herein aims at developing a CVD and/or MLD-based route for MOFs to be used for gas-sensing applications. Firstly, the gas-phase MOF growth through surface organometallic chemical approaches will be undertaken. In particular we will investigate the effect of varying surface pretreatment and post-synthesis activation routes on the growth parameters and on the final porosity of the materials. This task will include fine structural characterization of the grown MOF thin films (by X-ray diffraction, electronic microscopy), their chemical composition (by XPS, FTIR, ToF-SIMS) and porosity (by ellipso-porosimetry and GISAXS). The next task will focus on the development of sensitive microporous layers to allow the detection of small molecules (CH4, NOX, ?). The most performing materials will be characterized under gas atmosphere firstly on simple sensors (on Quartz microbalance) and then in integrating devices (pre-concentrators).

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