Open Semester and Master Projects at the Laboratory for Nanoelectronics

We have projects for students interested in experimental or computational work, or a mixture of both. Topical areas range from device engineering, advanced characterization techniques, physics of materials, and chemical synthesis.  All projects are motivated by real world applications of new materials and systems: energy storage (e.g., batteries), energy generation (e.g., solar cells), optoelectronics devices (e.g. LEDs or lasers), transistor free memory, and thermoelectrics.

 

We are delighted to welcome students from a variety of departments (e.g., D-ITET, D-MAVT, D-MATL, D-PHYS, and D-CHEM) or interdisciplinary MSc programs.

Last Update: Dec. 2017

Hydrothermal Synthesis Mechanism of LiFePO4: What Determines the Final Particle Shape?(Master Thesis) 


LiFePO4 is a commercially used low cost cathode material for Li ion batteries. It is very often produced in a hydrothermal process.

In this master project, your aim is to develop a model for the synthesis mechanism of LiFePo4 and find the implications of the mechanism to the particle shape. With the aid of various analytical techniques you will also apply standard characterization tools to study mechanism of the reaction.

Required background/skills: Previous experience in a laboratory is essential. In addition, theoretical knowledge of different analytical techniques and basic nucleation theory is preferential. 

Contact: Peter Benedek  p.benedek(at)iis.ee.ethz.ch

 

Towards Novel High-Performance Coatings (Semester/Master Project) 

LiFePO4 is a commercially used low cost cathode material for Li ion batteries. For its practical use, it has to be coated with a conductive element.

In this semester/master project, your aim is to develop a novel type of coating. With the aid of x-ray diffraction and various microscopy techniques, you will also apply standard characterization tools to study the effect of the coatings.

Required background/skills: Previous experience in a laboratory is preferential.

Contact: Peter Benedek  p.benedek(at)iis.ee.ethz.ch

 

Lithium Plating in Commercial Pouch Cells

Under certain conditions, lithium ion batteries exhibit lithium metallic plating on the anode, so called plating. The goal of this master thesis is to study the impact of the assembly technique and form factor of the battery cell on the onset and severity of plating, using a combination of optical microscopy, scanning electron microscope (SEM) imaging, and cyclic voltammetry.


Required background/skills: It is preferable if you already have previous experience working in a laboratory.
Contact: Marie Francine Lagadec, lagadec(at)iis.ee.ethz.ch, Nils Wenzler, wenzlern(at)iis.ee.ethz.ch

 

Design and implementation of a spraying device for production of battery materials 

In many high temperature processing steps, a vapor phase is created to improve material quality. Your aim is to design a setup able to spray liquids into a hot oven, where they vaporize. In a second step, you will implement this setup to battery electrode materials and characterize the results using electrochemical and surface characterization methods.

Required background/skills: Background in mechanical or electrical engineering is desirable. Some experience in CAD is beneficial.
Contact: Peter Benedek  p.benedek(at)iis.ee.ethz.ch

 

Colloidal nanocrystals for transistor-free memory (semester/ master thesis)

Perform solution-based synthesis of phase change materials (PCMs) with aim to optimize reaction parameters, like injection temperature, growth time, reagent concentrations, etc. Characterize obtained materials by spectroscopic and structural methods.

Required Background/Skills: previous lab classes in chemistry, course work in chemistry of material science.
Contact: Maksym Yarema,
yma(at)iis.ee.ethz.ch

 

Electrolyte-separator interactions in lithium ion batteries (semester/master thesis)

The influence of battery separators on the electrolyte conductivity and ion transport in lithium ion batteries is poorly understood. Recently we experimentally showed that different surface functionalizations strongly influence the separator performance. The aim of this project to model these interactions in a 3D finite element simulation with COMSOL and Matlab.

Required Background/Skills: Some experience in programming (e.g., Matlab) is desirable.
Contact: Raphael Zahn, raphael.zahn(at)iis.ee.ethz.ch

 

Phase transitions in colloidal nanocrystals (semester/master thesis)

Temperature-dependent X-ray diffraction and electrical measurements of colloidal nanocrystals, which belong to the family of phase change materials (PCMs). Assessment of nanocrystals for transistor-free memory applications, based on measurements.

Required Background/Skills: background in physics or electrical engineering.
Contact: Maksym Yarema,
yma(at)iis.ee.ethz.ch


Defect-induced properties of phase change materials (semester/master thesis)

Ab-initio (VASP) and/or tight binding (OMEN) calculations of rock salt structures with variable defect concentration and defect ordering. Assessment of amorphous-to-crystalline transition temperature and resistivity contrast for calculated structures.

Required Background/Skills: background in physics or electrical engineering, experience in simulations (Unix, Matlab, C).

Contact: Maksym Yarema, yma(at)iis.ee.ethz.ch

 

Design and Fabrication of Setup for Thermoelectric Measurements (semester/master thesis)

Due to their unique thermal and electrical properties, nanodimensioned materials are of interest for thermoelectric devices. Build a setup to characterize the properties of some of the novel materials made in the laboratory.

Required Background/Skills: background in mechanical or electrical engineering and experience with CAD is preferred.

Contact: Maksym Yarema, yma(at)iis.ee.ethz.ch

 

 

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