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Job posted by GREMAN (UMR CNRS 7347) (18/01/2013 11.58)

PhD position "Mechanical energy harvesting for perpetual battery on flexible substrates"

This PhD proposal concerns the modeling, fabrication and characterization (mechanical and electrical) of a micro-generator based on piezoelectric and wide bandgap semiconductor nanowires (ZnO). The micro-device under study will convert a mechanical energy (naturally existing in our environment) into electrical energy in order to supply a low consumption (around 1 µW) electrical device (sensor or actuator, wireless communication).
You have a MSc or MEng in Physics and/or Materials Science and/or Semiconductors and electronic devices. A good general knowledge of piezoelectricity and/or semiconductors; interest and motivation for experimental physics and high technology would be appreciated. An experience in piezoelectric transducers modeling (analytical or numerical models) would be a plus.


Thanks to bottom-up approaches, manufacturing processes allow a better control of chemical composition and geometrical characteristics at nanometer scale. Among the different nanostructures that can be obtained, semi-conducting nanowires (with diameters of a few tens of nanometers and lengths of a few micrometers) are of particular interest. As wide band gap semiconductor and piezoelectric material, ZnO nanowires have a broad range of applications, especially in energy conversion.

This research position will be the opportunity to focus on the theoretical study of the physical phenomena involved in the electromechanical conversion inside the piezo-semiconducting nanowires. In particular, the candidate will contribute to the validation and possible improvements of the different models that have been established at GREMAN laboratory. This study will require special electrical and mechanical characterization steps of such devices. For this purpose, the candidate will have to design and fabricate intermediate prototypes especially for characterization. These prototypes will include a single nanowire or a nanowire array, with mechanical configurations and electrodes enabling the measurement of desired physical characteristics.

This PhD is opened within the framework of the FLexIBLE project which is supported from Oct. 2014 and during 4 years by the French National Research Agency (ANR). This project involves GREMAN laboratory and STMicroelectronics Tours. This consortium has a solid experience of cooperation through several projects (EU, PIA, OSEO or ANR) and joint CIFRE PhD projects. Their background in the different fields of the project: piezoelectricity, Li battery and energy harvesting, includes more than 50 publications and 10 patents.

All the equipment and the technological bricks required for FLexIBLE project are available on the CERTeM technological platform, shared by ST and GREMAN in Tours ( CERTeM is a fully equipped clean room and an electrical / physical / mechanical characterization laboratory.

Nr of positions available : 1

Research Fields

Physics - Electronics

Career Stage

Early stage researcher or 0-4 yrs (Post graduate)

Research Profiles

First Stage Researcher (R1)


Monthly salary (net) : 1 440 €

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16 rue Pierre et Marie CURIE

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GREMAN (UMR CNRS 7347) - STMicroelectronics

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EU Research Framework Programme
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Avenue Monge, Bât. E, Parc de Grandmont
37200 - Tours
phone +33254558675
email guylaine.poulin-vittrant@univ-tours.fr