Organisation/Company: FEMTO-ST Institute
Research Field: Physics › Acoustics Physics › Chemical physics
Physics › Electronics Physics › Solid state physics Technology ›
Researcher Profile: First Stage Researcher (R1)
Application Deadline: 23/11/2021 12:00 - Europe/London
Location: France › BESANCON
Type Of Contract: Temporary
Job Status: Full-time
Hours Per Week: 35
Offer Starting Date: 01/10/2021
Air pollution poses a major environmental health risk and is estimated to
cause around two million premature deaths worldwide each year. Environmental
monitoring requires the measurement of different species of gases and
particles. It cannot therefore be carried out by a single sensor but a set of
specific and selective sensors.
Our environment is made up of many micro and nanometric particles suspended in
the air that can have varying degrees of health consequences. This can result
in poisoning in the case of carbon monoxide or in lung problems in the case of
formaldehyde, classified as a gas carcinogenic to humans by the International
Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). Other gases, such as hydrogen, have
the effect of causing explosion hazards, yet they can be of value as an energy
source in many applications. Carbon dioxide is harmless to humans at low
concentrations but can be emitted in very large amounts during natural
combustions such as volcanic eruptions or fires. It also comes from the
transport sector (fuel combustion), industry (use of fossil fuels) and
housing (use of energy for heating, lighting, etc.). It is responsible for
26% of the greenhouse effect at work in our atmosphere, where the increase in
its concentration is partly responsible for the global warming observed on the
scale of our planet since the last decades of the twentieth century. Finally,
fine particles called PM10 and PM2.5 penetrate deep into the lungs and can be
the cause of inflammation and worsening of the state of health of people with
heart and lung diseases. All these gases or microparticles are used or emitted
in a relatively banal way on a daily basis. However, they can present a real
danger to health when their concentration reaches a critical threshold.
Elastic Surface Wave (SAW) devices are currently being investigated for the
detection of low concentrations of gases or particles. Indeed, they are of
high sensitivity, small in size, can be produced at low cost and have great
robustness. The principle of these is based on variations in the propagation
properties of surface waves from sensitive layers deposited on the sensors,
depending on the amount of gas present in the environment. The phenomena of
adsorption and desorption can thus be followed in a simple way by these
sensors. Associated in-situ monitoring techniques are then necessary for the
development of industrializable sensors.
Description of the thesis work and integration into the general project
The proposed subject is to study and develop surface wave sensors (Figure 1)
on piezoelectric substrates with particular acoustoelectric properties in
order to precisely detect toxic species present in the environment (gases and
fine particles). These substrates will come from the Smart-Cut technology
developed by the SOITEC company.
- In the case of the selective detection of toxic gases, functionalization by
specific organometallic layers is necessary. This will make them perform well
even in the presence of interfering gases and / or humidity.
- In the case of measuring fine particles, the nature of the latter is not
important, the important criterion is their diameter; the smaller it is, the
more particles will penetrate deeply into the lungs leading to respiratory
Currently, the sensors operate in the hundreds of hertz range but depending on
the application need, in vehicle interiors in particular, they can be designed
to operate in different frequency ranges up to 2.4 GHz.
This work will be mainly carried out in the Time-Frequency department of the
FEMTO-ST institute (main direction Virginie Blondeau-Patissier) in
collaboration with the P2DA team of ICMUB (Dijon), specialized in porphyrins
and corroles, under the management of Prof. Claude Gros and the frec n sys
company directed by Dr. Sylvain Ballandras.
More precisely, the work carried out will be shared between theory,
experiments on a calibrated gas and fine particle measurement bench and
numerical simulations. The project consists of developing a new generation of
CO / CO2 and fine particle sensors for an automotive application based on the
convergence of fundamental research and industrial motivations.
In particular, the work program may include the following elements:
• Study the acoustic behaviour of different POI substrates (quality
coefficient, electromechanical coupling, losses, etc.), compare them with the
quartz devices currently used in the team for measuring gases and particles.
• The team has software to predict the behaviour of sensors based on their
design. This will involve studying sensors with a higher operating frequency
in order to reduce their size and increase their sensitivity to the species to
• The detection of fine particles in the air required the manufacture of an
impactor developed in the team (see figure 2 - Patent 2017). It is now a
question of reducing its size and developing a system allowing the cleaning of
the various sensors placed at the level of the floors via surface waves.
• It will also be considered to add a new stage to the impactor in order to
meet current standards on air pollution (see figure 2) and tests in outdoor
conditions will be carried out.
• Different methods of depositing layers of MOFs and COFs (organometallic
molecules in the form of networks) previously synthesized by fellow chemists
from ICMUB (Dijon) will be studied and their detection efficiency will then
be compared according to environmental conditions (T °, Pressure) and the
presence of interfering gases. The work of synthesizing these molecules is
carried out in collaboration with Prof. Karl Kadish of the University of
• Propose and perform tests in the presence of target and interfering species
to quantify their selectivity and sensitivity for automotive applications.
Tests in real conditions in vehicle interiors.
• The student will benefit from the knowledge and help of the staff of the
Mimento microtechnology plant for the manufacture of sensors in a clean room.
The company Frec / n / Sys will be able to put at the service of the doctoral
student its know-how and its capacities of realization of industrial
components to test the molecules which it will develop within the framework of
its thesis, thus providing an effective evaluation of their applicability for
concrete cases of detection of molecules of interest. The complementarity of
the teams in terms of research and development, associated with academic
laboratories, including one in collaboration with the University of Houston,
and the possibility of transferring the complete technology for the mass
production of these sensors, associated with an industrial (Sté Frec / n /
Sys), is an essential asset and a strong point of this project. The very
strong complementarity of the 2 teams in terms of research and development is
an essential asset for carrying out this work.
Contact : Virginie Blondeau-Patissier (MCF-HDR)
Time and frequency department – COSYMA Team
26, chemin de l'Épitaphe
25 000 Besançon
Téléphone : 03-22.214.171.124
Mail : firstname.lastname@example.org
REQUIRED EDUCATION LEVEL
Physics: Master Degree or equivalent
Engineer and/or Research Master - Good level of general and scientific
knowledge. Good level of practice of French and English. Good analytical,
synthesis, innovation and communication skills. Adaptability and creativity.
Motivation for research activity, in particular experimental.
Knowledge of physic, acoustic (waves propagation). Skills and motivation for
experimental research and microtechnology. Knowledge of numerical modelling in
fluid mechanic, COMSOL, SOLIDWORKS will be an advantage.
Organisation/Company: FEMTO-ST Institute
Department: Time & Frequency - Institute FEMTO-ST
Organisation Type: Public Research Institution
Website: https:// www. femto-st.fr/fr/Departements-de-recherche/TEMPS-
E-Mail: email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org
Postal Code: 25000
Street: 26 chemin de l Epitaphe
Phone: +33 3 81 40 29 58