The applicability of NEMS depends on their ability to operate reliably over time under service conditions. Improving the design and increasing the lifetime of devices requires the identification and detailed understanding of the structure – physical property relationship and failure modes. High resolution X-ray diffraction (HRXRD) techniques will be developed to analyze defects and strain in silicon NEMS in order to correlate with mechanical and / or electrical device behavior. The development of in-situ tool for the combination of HRXRD with mechanical and electrical NEMS actuation combined with FEM are central for this thesis project and will lead to a better understanding of materials and system performances. Synergies with microscopy methods and other X-ray based methods such as X-ray Phase Contrast Imaging (XPCI) will be used.
This interdisciplinary PhD project combines physics, material sciences, engineering and crystallography and will be carried out in collaboration with the Microelectronic Systems Laboratory of the EPFL, Switzerland, and the Mechanical Engineering Department of the Koc University in Istanbul, Turkey. Synergies between the Institutions will be beneficial for this Project.
Project duration of 3 years is planned in order to carry out the above research tasks in form of a PhD thesis. The project is supported by Empa and the Swiss National Science Foundation in collaboration with the EPFL, and the candidate will perform his research at Empa in Dübendorf. Desired starting date is 1st of December 2017 or upon mutual agreement.