PhD position - Metaplasticity of redox-based memristive thin film devices

Jülich Research Centre (FZJ)

Jülich, Germany

Work group:

PGI-7 – Elektronische Materialien



Area of research:

PHD Thesis



Job description:

The Peter Grünberg Institute (PGI) is the central platform for basic research in the field of nanoelectronics and combines cutting-edge research, technology development and innovative device concepts. Our strong basic research in solid state physics and materials science paves ground for the discovery and use of novel electronic phenomena, methods, and materials. At Electronic Materials Department (PGI-7), our research focuses on the fabrication of oxide thin films and nanoelectronic devices for novel computing paradigms such as neuromorphic computing. The PGI-7 is involved in a Marie-Curie training network “Materials for Neuromorphic Circuits” (MANIC) etnmanic.eu that is aiming to synthesize materials that can function as networks of neurons and synapses by integrating conductivity, plasticity and self-organization. Within MANIC, the PGI-7 offers a PhD project that aims to engineer the synaptic plasticity of epitaxial and polycrystalline memristive oxide thin film devices from short-term plasticity to long-term potentiation. This so called metaplasticity inherent to biological systems will be employed to implement different types of learning algorithms. The plasticity will be modified by the interplay of thin film processing conditions (defects, interfaces) and the sequence of electrical stimuli. The project should clarify the interplay between pristine microstructure, filament formation, dynamics of oxygen vacancy movement and synaptic plasticity. The memristive devices will finally be co-integrated into a neuromorphic CMOS chip designed at Bielefeld University.


Your Job:



  • Growth of oxide thin films by pulsed laser deposition or sputter deposition

  • In situ characterization of thin films within the Electronic Oxide Cluster (EOC) tool

  • A one month stay each at University of Twente and Twente Solid State Technology for the growth of heterostructures on Si

  • Fabrication of nanoscale memristive devices and co-integration into a neuromorphic CMOS chip

  • Electrical testing of over a high dynamic range

  • A one month stay at University of Bielefeld for the exchange about device properties and neuromorphic circuit design

  • In operando microspectroscopy (PEEM) to monitor redox-processes and its time decay within the devices

  • A two weeks stay at University of Groningen to develop algorithms for PEEM image analysis

  • Participation in the training program of MANIC

  • Presentation, communication, and publication of cutting-edge research in international environment

Your Profile:

  • Excellent University degree in physics, material science or electrical engineering
  • Profound knowledge in Solid State Physics
  • Interdisciplinary and cross-topical thinking
  • Team-minded, self-reliant, and highly motivated character
  • Good communicational skills in English (German in addition will be preferred)
  • Due to the mobility rule of the training program you should not have stayed in Germany for more than 12 months within the last 3 years

Our Offer:

  • At PGI, we offer a world-leading, interdisciplinary and international research environment, provided with state-of-the-art experimental equipment and versatile opportunities to grow as a young and curious researcher.
  • A highly motivated group as well as an international and interdisciplinary working environment at one of Europe`s largest research establishments
  • Chance of participating in (international) conferences and project meetings
  • Continuous scientific mentoring by your scientific advisor
  • Participation in overarching seminars including certificate
  • Further development of your personal strengths, e.g. via a comprehensive further training Programme
  • Usually a contract for the duration of 3 years
  • Information on employment as a PhD student at Forschungszentrum Jülich can be found here www.fz-juelich.de/gp/Careers_Docs

Forschungszentrum Jülich promotes equal opportunities and diversity in its employment relations.We also welcome applications from disabled persons.


Please apply via recruiter’s website.

Quote Reference: 2019D-233