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Training in: Growth, optical and structural characterization of InAs/InAsSb photodiodes on different substrates.

Long wavelength infrared range (LWIR) 8 to 12 µm detectors find applications in thermal imaging through e.g. thick smoke and fog, thermography, temperature control and gas leak detections. Current state-of-art technology, based on HgCdTe (MCT), suffers from large tunnelling currents, intrinsic performance limitations and a narrow growth window to control precise composition. Sb-based Type II superlattices (T2SL) however, do not have the same limitations due to large splitting between the heavy-hole and the light-hole band, enhanced electron-hole wave function overlap and relaxed compositional requirements. Sb-based focal plane array (FPA) technology has recently shown similar performance to the MCT benchmark.

IQE and CARDIFF UNIV will develop optimized epitaxy processes using MOCVD and MBE technologies to produce high operating temperature generic Sb-based long-wavelength T2SL detectors. The deployment of the optimized growth conditions in an industrial wafer production environment will be tested in collaboration with AIXTRON.

The epitaxy growth experiments will be supported by several modelling activities. The researcher will design, simulate, perform and analyze experiments to find the optimum epitaxy growth conditions, including some scale-up to industrial requirements. The material performance will be established through in-house characterization and device fabrication. Results will include improvements in: i) Material structural, optical and electrical quality and interface control; ii) Control of i) through the use of optimized precursor materials and dopants; iii) Uniformity of deposition and yield improvement for scale-up.


Institution: IQE plc, founded in 1988, is headquartered in Cardiff and employs ~700 people globally. The company has over 100 MOCVD and MBE reactors, through which it has pioneered the supply of custom-designed epitaxial wafers for a number of compound semiconductor device applications for over 30 years. IQE’s global business is dependent on a broad range of electronic and photonic epitaxial device structures; serving wireless and optical telecommunications, medical, industrial and consumer markets amongst others.
R&D/Production Laboratory: An experienced R&D team will support the following:
-Process Engineering Team: Expertise in MOCVD and MBE processes over several decades with experience in optimization of epitaxy capability establishment and improvement.
-Equipment Engineering: Mechanical and electrical expertise for the design of optimized gas distribution, reactor control, maintenance and abatement.
-An MOCVD capability with >20 reactor systems locally for As-P, Nitride and Sb-based II-V technologies and a global fleet for state-of-the-art Sb-based MBE growth.
-State of the art in-house characterization equipment, including X-ray, AFM, SEM, photoluminescence, ECV profiling and defectivity mapping amongst others.
Location/City: IQE is located in the St Mellons suburb of Cardiff, capital city of Wales, UK. There will be a close co-operation with Cardiff University.


We seek an excellent, open-minded and team-spirited PhD candidate with:
Graduation: a 4-yr Bachelor’s degree in Physics, Chemistry, Material Science or Engineering.
Post-graduation: a 3-yr Graduate degree plus a separate Master in a scientific field, or, an integrated Master (MPhys, MSci, MEng, MChem etc.). Previous experience in a research environment involving solid state physics, or similar will be positively considered.
Other: The successful candidate should have good knowledge and interest in practical, experimental and theoretical work.

How to Apply

Candidates can apply to a maximum of four different ESR positions in the network using the links below. Applications must include the following documents:
  1. An internal application form listing your academic and job records (.docx template available here).
  2. A free format CV (pdf format max 2 Mb)
  3. Official documentation such as degree and grades certificates will be required at a later stage.
The deadline for application is 31st January 2021.
Attempts to apply to more than four positions using different registration profiles will invalidate your candidature.