PhD Position Material degradation of micro-electronics

Research / Academic


Your research project will be an integral part of the NWO perspective Circular Circuits programme. This programme aims to overcome technical, economic and societal bottlenecks for lifetime extension, reuse, repair, refurbishment and recycling through the development of a new generation of electronic components, product-service design and advanced recycling technology. Circular innovations will result in an elimination of the concept of e-waste and to substantial savings of (critical) raw materials and energy. The programme is executed by a large consortium of academic research groups and associated industrial partners.
With the ambition to design extremely robust or fully reusable or recyclable microelectronics, a switch in materials and design used is foreseen in the production of semiconductor devices. An important challenge is imposed by the ongoing EU legislation restricting the use of hazardous materials which urges the exploration and implementation of alternative materials and processes. Such a switch in materials/design will have a direct impact on the durability of the product. Understanding the degradation processes in current and novel microelectronics using models and measurements can help to assess the impact on the major damage originating processes, allowing fast development of new materials and processes for future microelectronic products.
Your tasks will be (i) to investigate and model transport processes leading to degradation of micro-electronics, focusing on ion and water transport, combined with finding the driving forces (electric fields) as well as preferential pathways (interfaces), (ii) to perform accelerated life-time testing and assessment of sample/device degradation utilising various techniques for material analysis and dedicated equipment for device performance analysis, (iii) to propose promising material and design solutions to extend the microelectronics lifetime to the same level or beyond that of the previous non-sustainable technology and (iv) Translate the multi-disciplinary knowledge basis into principles for prognostics and health monitoring and degradation sensors. Furthermore you may be involved in training and teaching BSc and MSc students (up to 10% of your working time).
The project will be executed at Delft University of Technology within the Department of Materials Science and Engineering (Corrosion Technology and Electrochemistry research group – 3mE Faculty – Dr. Yaiza Gonzalez-Garcia and Prof.dr. Arjan Mol) in close collaboration with the Department of Microelectronics (Electronic Components, Technology and Materials research group – EEMCS Faculty – Prof.dr. Willem van Driel) 


It is expected that you will:

  • Design and setup the experimental plan and platforms required for this project
  • Conduct and analyse mechanical, chemical and electrochemical degradation and performance tests
  • Efficiently communicate, verbally and in writing, the scientific results with supervisor and consortium parties involved during regular progress meetings as well as in peer-reviewed scientific journals.

You should have the following qualifications:

  • MSc in materials science, chemical engineering, physics, chemistry or a related area.
  • Experience with material degradation / environment-material interactions, (electro)chemistry and physics
  • Eager to conduct a multidisciplinary project
  • Excellent experimental skills based on a thorough theoretical understanding of material degradation, chemistry and physics
  • Excellent written and verbal English communication skills and ability to be a key team player in a multidisciplinary and academic-industrial setting.
  • Excellent fundamental research mind-set with clear application affinity
  • Self-starter with initiative and ability to set up, organize and execute your research.

Doing a PhD at TU Delft requires English proficiency at a certain level to ensure that the candidate is able to communicate and interact well, participate in English-taught Doctoral Education courses, and write scientific articles and a final thesis. For more details please check the Graduate Schools Admission Requirements.

Salary Benefits:

Doctoral candidates will be offered a 4-year period of employment in principle, but in the form of 2 employment contracts. An initial 1,5 year contract with an official go/no go progress assessment within 15 months. Followed by an additional contract for the remaining 2,5 years assuming everything goes well and performance requirements are met.
Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities, increasing from € 2541 per month in the first year to € 3247 in the fourth year. As a PhD candidate you will be enrolled in the TU Delft Graduate School. The TU Delft Graduate School provides an inspiring research environment with an excellent team of supervisors, academic staff and a mentor. The Doctoral Education Programme is aimed at developing your transferable, discipline-related and research skills.
The TU Delft offers a customisable compensation package, discounts on health insurance and sport memberships, and a monthly work costs contribution. Flexible work schedules can be arranged. For international applicants we offer the Coming to Delft Service and Partner Career Advice to assist you with your relocation.

Work Hours:

36 – 40 hours per week


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