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

PhD : selection by topics

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Contactless electronics under high-temperature and radiation exposures

Département Architectures Conception et Logiciels Embarqués (LIST-LETI)

Laboratoire Intégration Gestion d'Energie Capteurs et Actionneurs


New computing paradigms, circuits and technologies, incl. quantum (.pdf)

The objective is to design a new generation of contactless electronics to be robust to high-temperature and radiation expositions. Based on the recently introduced ?contactless electronics? paradigm, the PhD student have to define new mechanical structures and electronics schemes to operate in harsh conditions and to offer analog- and digital-operations. This study is based on a complete breakthrough proposal compared to the classical transistor-based electronics to overcome the inherent physical limit of transistor at high-temperature. The PhD student will propose, model and simulate electro-mechanical micro fabricated structures to validate the theoretical principle recently announced by some senior-scientists in our laboratory. The project involves multi-disciplinary study including microelectronics, electromechanical MEMS devices, solid-state physics and gives an excellent opportunity for PhD student to cover a large scientific scope.

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Embedded AI for the semantic interpretation of a probabilistic environment model

Département Architectures Conception et Logiciels Embarqués (LIST-LETI)

Laboratoire Infrastructure et Ateliers Logiciels pour Puces



Artificial intelligence & Data intelligence (.pdf)

The perception and modelling of an environment is a major issue when developing autonomous vehicles. How to model the surroundings of a vehicle? How to detect and identify the various obstacles? What about free spaces, and areas safe to drive on? Which sensor combination is the most appropriate to reach an exhaustive description and modelling of the environment? Those questions all have beginnings of answers, but still remain open and not yet solved. There also is a strong constraint regarding the need for embedding systems, which is one of the CEA focuses. Which processing and analysis can be considered while targeting embedded systems? Occupancy Grid is a model used to represent the surroundings of a vehicle and present various advantages. Several sensors of various modalities are used to compute the grid: each modality brings a specific information. For instance, infra-red is efficient by night, LIDAR offers a 360° field of view but is not robust to bad weather conditions, in which case a radar would be preferable. Ultrasound sensors on the contrary are used to analyse very short distances. CEA has developed approaches based on Bayesian fusion to produce SigmaFusion library. SigmaFusion is a tool to fuse the information of different sensors to produce an occupancy grid, which evolves with time. A strong point of SigmaFusion is the computing optimization: the technology is particularly efficient and competitive under strong embedded constraints (low cost integration with low energy consumption on micro-controller certified for critical task for the automotive market). An issue currently addressed is the use of EdgeAI methods to gain a semantic interpretation of an occupancy grid. A typical question is the level of knowledge and interpretation that can be reached while respecting the embedding constraint. Is it possible to detect the object evolving in a grid automatically, in real time and at low energetic cost (pedestrians, cyclists, cars, etc.)?

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Model of energy losses due to fouling of bifacial PV modules and the reduction in induced albedo.

Département des Technologies Solaires (LITEN)

Laboratoire Systèmes PV



Solar energy for energy transition (.pdf)

The generation of energy from solar technologies becomes more and more important and consequently the serious consideration of a problem, the soiling Today, the unit of measurement is no longer the Giga Wh but the Tera Wh and, therefore, the smallest percentage of losses can generate a considerable economic deficit. In order to reduce the cost of the energy produced (LCOE), the players are looking to locate their installations in the sunniest, arid and unfortunately often very dusty regions. Finally, a promising new technology of PV cells, capable of capturing photons on both sides, has recently emerged and requires a fundamental review of the soiling approach, taking particular account of variations in soil albedo. The context of the study is favorable, because motivated by an increasing number of patents and articles, strong pressure on the cost of cleaning and water consumption, new applications such as agro-PV particularly sensitive. The main objective of the doctoral student is to develop algorithms for calculating the impact of soiling from the characteristics of the PV fields, data measured on the systems and taking into account the influencing environmental parameters. He identifies the best measurement methods and instruments to quantify the level of soiling. The scientific difficulty lies in the diversity of the materials concerned and the challenge consists in apprehending and reproducing multiple physico-chemical phenomena involved in the process of accumulation of soiling.

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Electrochemical deposition of insulating polymer films

Département des Plateformes Technologiques (LETI)




Emerging materials and processes for nanotechnologies and microelectronics (.pdf)

The electrohoretic deposition is a well known technique to form polymeric coatings with a variety of materials such as polyetherimide (PEI). This technique usually requires the application of several (tens of) volts. Under such conditions, electrochemical reactions occur at the electrodes, such as solvent decomposition, that promote polymer precipitation at their surface. Recent results suggest that these electrochemical reactions are sufficiently active at much lower overpotentials (below 3V). This would enable deposition processes under mild conditions with improved control over the film properties. In this thesis, the mechanisms at play during the deposition of PEI under such mild conditions will be studied, with the aim of developing a process suitable for the fabrication of capacitors with high breakdown voltage. This approach will also be extended to other insulating polymers compatible with healthcare applications (such as packaging of wiring circuits for implant systems) or to hydrophilic and/or porous polymers for the encapsulation of biologic structures (cells, enzymes, bacteria) or cell filtration in biochips.

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Characterization of all-solid-state batteries using neutron and synchrotron facilities

Département de l'Electricité et de l'Hydrogène pour les Transports (LITEN)

Laboratoire Matériaux



Advanced nano characterization (.pdf)

In view to increasing both energy density and safety of lithium batteries, all solid state battery systems are currently of interest, either based on the use of polymer or inorganic electrolyte materials, or the combination of them as hybrid electrolytes. Research activities in this field are already well established at CEA-Grenoble, such as the developments of ionic conductive ceramic materials and single-ion conductive polymers. In this frame, the PhD student will aim at supporting this work through better understanding of the hybrid electrolyte system. The objectives of the PhD student will be the in depth characterisation of the structure and properties of such systems, including local/nanoscale organisation, organic-inorganic interfaces and electrolyte-electrode interfaces. The studies will use materials already available at CEA and novel cathodes from UMICORE, as well as new material under development. The student will employ cutting-edge neutron and synchrotron techniques, such as small angle scattering, tomography, micro-beam and imaging techniques, to characterise the hybrid materials both ex situ and operando in devices and propose potential optimisation to the systems.

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Investigation of manufacturing process related structure and performance of fuel cell electrode

Département de l'Electricité et de l'Hydrogène pour les Transports (LITEN)

Laboratoire Composants Pemfc



Advanced hydrogen and fuel-cells solutions for energy transition (.pdf)

Zero emission automotive using hydrogen as a fuel and powered by a proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell are now commercially available. However, large-scale commercialization of PEM fuel cell vehicles requires progress in performance, cost and durability, for which the electrode is the most limiting component. It is made of a random assembly of platinum based nanoparticles within a proton conducting polymer network. The electrode is obtained from a slurry after evaporating the solvents. Currently, research and development to improve the performance of the electrode and reduce the cost of manufacturing rely on a trial and error basis. The goal of this project is to increase the knowledge on the relationships between ink composition, electrode structure, properties and performance. The evolution of the ink during the drying process and the so obtained electrode will be characterized using neutron and X-Ray scattering, as complementary tools to unravel the organization of the catalyst material and of the polymer. By correlating these results with Operando electrochemical, structural and imaging measurements, we aim at rationalizing the design of the electrodes. This project involves partners having all the complementary skills needed for this study of most interest for the industrial partner, which is a leader in the research, development and production of fuel cell cars.

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