The work will be performed for 2 years in the Nanoscopic Physics department at UCLouvain (Louvain-la-Neuve) under the supervision of Prof.
P. Gehring (https : / / www.gehring-lab.com / ). The other 2 years will take place in the group of Surface and Interface Engineered Materials (https : / / www.
mtm.kuleuven.be / onderzoek / siem / SIEM) at the Department of Materials Engineering of KU Leuven, and under the supervision of Prof.
Clement Merckling and Prof. F. Molina-Lopez (https : / / www.molina-lopezresearchlab.com / ).
The irruption of quantum computing in our society and the promise held by superconducting electronics comes along with a strong need for cryogenic circuits (those working at only a few K).
Cooling them to such temperatures can be in principle achieved electrically using thermoelectric (TE) materials,which are robust solid-state devices with no moving parts, scalable, and thus perfectly suited for integrated on-chip coolers.
Thus, since the discovery of thermoelectric effects more than 200 years ago, there has been vast research effort in the fields of materials science and physics, which aimed at identifying - and optimizing - new material systems with high thermoelectric charge-to-heat conversion efficiency.
However, limited progress has been made in terms of performance and implementation, thus thermoelectric coolers are still restricted to niche applications.
The aim of this PhD project is to realize the first thermoelectric cooler device exploiting the quantum properties of magnetic Weyl semimetals.
To this end, the project combines the development of a deposition method to obtain ultra-high quality thin films of magnetic Weyl semimetals, in-depth characterization of their physical parameters by means of cryogenic magnetotransport and scanning probe microscopy, and implementation into real functional devices with innovative form factors including mechanical flexibility and large area.
You will be working in an international environment that uniquely combines two of the leading universities in Europe (UCLouvain & KU Leuven).
You will therefore have full access to the state-of-the art laboratories for micro / nano fabrication and testing facilities.
You will be contributing to a challenging, interdisciplinary topic in a team of physicists, material scientists and electrical engineers.
What you will do :