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PhD in Single Photon Avalanche Diode Development in Advanced CMOS Technology

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  • Full or part time
    Dr Henderson
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

STMicroelectronics Imaging Divsion in Edinburgh, UK, is looking to fully-fund a UK or EU PhD student for 3 years to start in 2016 through the University of Edinburgh. The project is to develop Single Photon Avalanche Diodes (SPAD) in CMOS technology. Education in, and previous experience of, semiconductor device physics is essential.

STMicroelectronics Imaging Division is a major supplier of optical sensors; ST image sensors and
optical modules can be found in many top-branded consumer products such as mobile phones and
optical mice. The Imaging Division of STMicroelectronics has a core competence centre for CMOS
Image Sensors and Photonics modules R&D in Edinburgh. Innovations in Photonics technology and
advanced optics play a key role in our product development and are supported by an active
collaboration with local universities. STMicroelectronics is developing an advanced capability across
a wide range of photon detection devices, including sensors for consumer, medical, automotive and
security markets.
STMicroelectronics is the worldwide leader in SPAD-based Time-Of-Flight (ToF) Photonic Modules
for the consumer market. The design centre in Edinburgh is at the forefront in the product
development in this area and last year brought to market a ToF optical sensing module which has
been unanimously hailed as a breakthrough in terms of its high performance and compact
miniaturization. STMicroelectronics is the only manufacturer who has industrialised Single Photon
Avalanche Diode (SPAD) technology into large scale, high volume manufacturing. One widely
admired adoption of an ST photonics module is in the LG G3 handset’s ToF based camera autofocus
(AF); a fast, accurate and low power AF solution which has been widely advertised on TV.
STMicroelectronics in Edinburgh is looking to take on a pro-active, engaged, focused PhD student
(UK/EU only) to continue in the ST/University of Edinburgh Research Collaboration Agreement on the
following project:

Single Photon Avalanche Diode Pixel Development in Advanced CMOS Technology Node

SPADs in monolithic CMOS, have been researched, demonstrated and successfully industrialized.
This project would build upon this prior research by creating novel SPAD pixels leveraging advanced
monolithic and 3D stacking technology. The students will implement new SPAD detectors taking
advantage of a fully dedicated photo-sensing CMOS technology. New SPAD pixel design and
physical layout will be implemented by working both on the SPAD diode and its quenching circuit.
The SPAD device development will make use of layout tools and 3D device simulations (Sentaurus
TCAD), together with technology trials. The overall pixel will be further optimized by use of circuit
level simulations. The central project aim will be to improve the device photon detection efficiency by
optimizing all aspects of the SPAD technology and pixel layout. The student will work across two
sites: in Edinburgh as part of the University of Edinburgh and inside the ST Imaging Division and in
Grenoble, France inside the Crolles CMOS foundry. More widely, the student will be working inside
the framework of a European Union funded technology development project (POLIS).

Silicon trials will be manufactured through ST’s foundry in Crolles. The student will be further
responsible for the testing and characterization analysis of the SPAD devices. The student is
expected to carry out high quality research, present work at international conferences and publish in
high quality peer-reviewed research journals.

STMicroelectronics in Edinburgh is looking to fully-fund a student from 2016 to continue in the ST/University of Edinburgh Research Collaboration Agreement.

Please apply with a C.V. to: Dr Robert Henderson, CMOS Sensors and Systems Group, School of Engineering, The University of Edinburgh, [email protected]

Funding Notes

Due to funding, we can only accept candidates from the UK or an EU nation.

How good is research at University of Edinburgh in General Engineering?
(joint submission with Heriot-Watt University)

FTE Category A staff submitted: 91.80

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

Click here to see the results for all UK universities
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