Nord-Pas-de-Calais, France
Date Posted
17 Nov 2024

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PhD Project
Institute of Electronic, Microelectronic and Nanotechnologies

Modelling mechanisms of transduction in conducting-IPN for micro-structure

Nord-Pas-de-Calais, France
17 Nov 2024

NOTE: this position listing has expired and may no longer be relevant!

Position Description

PhD positions funded by the MarieSklodowska-Curie Innovative Training Network “MICACT – Microactuators” within the Horizon 2020 Programme of the European Commission.
The candidate will share his time between Institut d’Electronique de Microélectronique et de Nanotechnologies (Villeneuve d’Ascq – France)), and the Advanced Materials and Process Engineering Laboratory (Vancouver – Canada).

The PhD student will improve the understanding of the electromechanical mechanisms induced in
new micro-actuators based on electronically conducting polymer for a future integration inside soft MEMS.

First two Interpenetrating Polymer Networks (IPNs) PEO/PTHF (polyethyleneoxide /polytetrahydrofurane) and PEO/NBR (polyethyleneoxide /Nitrile Butadiene Rubber) will be rapidly optimized by combining appropriately the specific properties of each network: good ionic conductivity (PEO) and good mechanical properties (PTHF and NBR). The mechanical properties of these materials allow the synthesis of solid polymer electrolyte materials that can be elaborated and manipulated with thicknesses from 5 to 10 µm. A innovative cleanroom spin
coating process has been developed to be compatible with microsystem technology. The conducting-IPNs are synthesized from previous IPNs in which the conducting polymer poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene) (PEDOT) is weakly interpenetrated. This interface is controlled and this step will be fundamental for the electromechanical studies and for modeling. Photolithography techniques, reactive ion etching or laser ablation will be used to design conducting-IPN to obtained standardized micro-beam actuators.

The PhD student will characterize accurately the electrical and mechanical properties of these actuators to provide reliable experimental data to the model. The PhD student will establish a mathematical model to ensure on the one hand, a better understanding of the phenomena involved in the conducting IPN, and on the other hand, to predict and effectively control the mechanical performance and energy efficiency. Development of such a model to predict their behavior and quantify their performance is difficult because of the many parameters
involved (mechanical, electrical and chemical) and because of the absence of a theory clearly describing the subject. At first glance, it appears appropriate to work on a model by lumped elements (also called localized model parameters). Using the finite element method appears well suited to address this issue in particular to simulate non-linear behavior such as large displacements. In a second step, it is essential to develop a more complete and more realistic model. Thus, the model should explicitly describe not only the mechanism but also the aspects of ion conduction and electromechanical conversion.

By combining the results, the available potentialities of these new materials for soft MEMS will be

How to Apply

Interested candidates should send their CV and Letter of Motivations to : Deadline for applications is January 28th. Researchers can be of any nationality. At the time of recruitment, researchers must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in France for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to the reference date. The successful candidate should have following profile: ● M.Sc. in Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Mechatronics Engineering or related field ● Strong experimental skills in electrical and mechanical engineering, materials science, basic polymer science ● Have a strong interest in interdisciplinary research and enjoy teamwork with colleagues in a multicultural setting. ● Adept at thinking at a system level, interested in applications and enjoy building and testing working devices ● highly motivated, taking initiative, communicative, quality minded, flexible, and eager to learn ● eager to frequent travel to secondment hosts and workshops ● Experience in the fields of soft actuators or testing will be an asset. ● Basic knowledge in clean room processes will be appreciated ● Fluent in English. Knowledge of local language is a plus.

Position Category: Engineering. Position Type: PhD Project. Position Tags: mems, modelling, eap (electroactive polymers), and actuators. Salary: €30'000 - €40'000.