PhD - Development of SiC-based detector for toxic gas in harsh environments
Institut Matériaux Microélectronique Nanosciences de Provence (IM2NP)

PhD - Development of SiC-based detector for toxic gas in harsh environments

France 27 Apr 2021


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State University
Host Country
27 Apr 2021
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Nom du directeur de thèse : Dr. Laurent OTTAVIANI

Tel : 04 13 94 53 37

E-Mail :

Co-encadrante : Dr. Sandrine BERNARDINI-BARAKEL

Tel : 04 13 94 23 02

E-Mail :

Laboratoire : IM2NP ‐ UMR CNRS 7334 – Marseille (FR)

Financement : demandé

Type de financement : ED 353

Summary in English :

Several industries, such as aerospace or petrochemical, require the development of a range of chemical sensor technologies for applications such as fuel leak detection, fire detection and emissions monitoring. Furthermore, monitoring the air we breathe is an increasing societal need to ensure the well-being, safety and good health of living beings in confined spaces. To meet these needs, miniaturisable embedded systems stable over time and capable of detecting pollution peaks in real time must be considered [1].

During their operation, the sensitive layers of the gas sensors are activated thermally or by a light source, which provides sufficient activation energy for the adsorption and desorption reactions of gas molecules on their surface. The variation in the electrical charge generated by these reactions then leads to a variation in the conductivity of the materials used. Recent work has shown that SiC-based gas sensors have very interesting properties for the detection of toxic gases [2-3]. This thesis topic proposes to work on detection problems in severe environments using SiC detectors.

The scientific challenges to which this thesis topic responds in order to optimise the detection properties of SiC in relation to toxic gases will be based on two main complementary and multidisciplinary areas: the study of the SiC material and component, and the measurement protocol under harsh environments.

The thesis work will be carried out within the MCI (MicroSensors and Instrumentation) and IRM-PV (Radiation-Matter and Photovoltaic Interactions) teams of the DETECT (Detection, Radiation and Reliability) department of the IM2NP (Institut Matériaux Microélectronique et Nanosciences de Provence), under the supervision of Dr. Laurent OTTAVIANI, Senior Lecturer authorised to supervise research and the co-supervision of Mrs. Sandrine BERNARDINI-BARAKEL, Senior Lecturer. The PhD student will interact with other teams of the laboratory for the structural and the chemical characterization of the deposited materials.

The future PhD student will be able to draw on the complementary knowledge developed within these teams concerning the design, manufacture and characterisation of UV and gas detection devices, as well as on the numerous research facilities present in these teams for the deposition and the electrical characterisation of the latter under a controlled environment.

Its work will consist in developing SiC-based devices capable of detecting oxidising (NO2 and O3) and reducing (NH3 and CO) toxic gases.

Preliminary studies between these two teams have shown the good reliability of SiC-based UV photo-detectors operating at high temperature and under irradiation [4]. In addition, UV LED illumination has led to a significant improvement in the performance of ZnO-based gas sensors in the presence of oxidising gases [5-6].

We propose to focus the study on the evaluation of the stability of the SiC-based UV detector in a controlled environment (temperature, humidity and gases) and on the radiation-matter interactions between the light source and the oxidising (NO2 and O3) and reducing (NH3 and CO) gases.

This thesis will include studies of the materials to be deposited in order to choose the most relevant/performing ones, the realization of sensors, and their characterization in a controlled environment under the predominant polluting gases.

Candidate skills required

Skills in materials science and component physics will be appreciated. Experience in electrical characterization techniques is expected as well as teamwork, ease of communication and initiative.

Please send a cover letter, a CV, a Master 2 transcript or an engineering school.

Publications on the subject:

Professional integration after thesis:

A professional integration will be possible in the public or private sector by applying for positions in higher education, CNRS, or employment in the industry.

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