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Multi-level functionality in ferroelectric, hafnia-based thin films for low-power, edge logic and memory

ABG-118679 Job Junior
2024-03-25 Fixed-term 22 Month > €35,000 and < €45,000 annual gross
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CEA Saclay
Gif sur Yvette - Ile-de-France - France
  • Electronics
  • Materials science
HfO2, ferroelectricity, multi-level functionality, Photoemission, synchrotron radiation, operando experiements, low-power logic and memory, artificial intelligence
Research and Development


UMR 3680 CEA-CNRS, SPEC/LENSIS provides expertise in synchrotron radiation, photoelectron spectroscopy and LEEM. It has recognized expertise in many different experimental techniques on the nanometer scale in both laboratory and synchrotron environments (SOLEIL, ELETTRA, BESSY, SPring-8, Diamond, Petra III). SPEC offers both a state of the art LEEM and PEEM instruments, hard and soft X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, with capacity for application of electric fields and mechanical stress.

Main research themses include functional oxide thin films for integration in future, sustainable, low-power electronics.

The laboratory is coordinator of the Horizon Europe Ferro4EdgeAI collaborative project bringing together 12 partners inclduing research organization, universities and five industrialists.

Position and assignments

To cope with the requirements of Artificial intelligence at the edge, new architectures have to be explored in the light of new emerging devices technologies. In the context of the Horizon Europe Ferro4EdgeAI collaborative project, we aims to develop and demonstrate from 1000X to 2500X energy efficiency gain with respect to cloud based CMOS for intelligent edge processors based on ferroelectric technology and the computation-in-memory paradigm.

The unique characteristics of FE technology [Silva2023] will be explored in the light of the targeted applications. The device technology at the heart of Ferro4EdgeAI is the FeFET-2 in which a ferroelectric capacitor is added in series with the gate stack of a conventional CMOS transistor (Figure). Conceptually this combines the simplicity and endurance/retention characteristics of the FeRAM with the plasticity and quasi-analogue response of the FeFET, without the adverse effects of charge trapping on endurance, retention, imprint and drift.

The primary objective of the materials aspect of Ferro4EdgeAI is the optimization of HfO2-based ferroelectric materials for multilevel functionality suitable for AI applications by investigating the trade-off in memory window, film thickness & stability of the ferroelectric state. We require a FE film which offers the possibility for a large memory window (large remanent polarization), able to retain the set polarization states.


The post-doctoral research will focus on the switching kinetics of films with different process parameters and switching voltages will be analysed via time-resolved X-ray photoemission spectroscopy (XPS, PEEM) with a time-resolved detector funded by the project to characterize ML switching.


Extensive use of synchrotron radiation is foreseen for the operando experiments. Samples will be supplied by NaMLab (Dresden) and the CEA LETI (Grenoble) who will also provide the integration.



In addition to the scientific research, the successful candidate will be expected to assist in project management (equivalent 2 months) and interact with all of the consortium partners, in particular for reporting and organization of regular project meetings.


The initial contract is for 22 months, June 2024 start date, negotiable

Geographic mobility:




Starting date



We are looking for an experimental physicist or materials scientist with experience in photoelectron spectroscopy. Synchrotron radiation experience is an advantage.

Knowledge of oxide surfaces/interaces and ferroelectricity are important.

Teamwork will be very important including assisting in project coordination.


The post-doctoral researcher will use of several advanced photoemission-based techniques to explore the physical chemistry of hafnia based interfaces and capacitor stacks with a view to engineering by mabsic materials science and process conditions the electrical performances


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