Postdoctoral Researcher Soft Micro-robotics

23 March 2021

Demonstrate novel soft micro-robotic systems for future robotic applications.

What you will do

Soft robotics is an expanding research domain in robotics aiming to build robots with highly compliant materials to allow interacting safely with their environment, which potentially can include humans, with applications in wearable robots, grippers and robotic surgery. A major missing key technology are flexible/stretchable artificial skins integrating sensors and actuators. These types of flexible robots would revolutionize the robotic surgery tools, could create 3D compliant structures to guide the creation of organoids or even create the new generation of artificial skin integrating sensors and actuators. A general challenge in soft robotics is also to generate a smart closed-loop feedback system between a locally measured pressure and an applied force. Moving towards more complex systems, the density of this local feedback system increases, towards the sub-mm domain with several 1000’s of pixels. The incorporation of traditional discrete components becomes a challenge.

Imec is at the forefront of thin-film technology development, using thin-film transistors on flexible substrates in combination with innovative polymer transducers, which is seen as a crucial building block in the development of soft robotics. These sensors and actuators are demonstrated to reach high density, large arrays, such as thermal sensors, ultrasound devices and pressure sensors.

The aim of this postdoc project is to design and fabricate flexible actuator arrays using imec polymer technology coupled with piezoelectric actuation for sensing and/or actuation. The final goal is to demonstrate novel soft micro-robotic systems for future robotic applications.

Type of work: 10% literature study, 20% design, 50% processing, 20% characterization

Daily advisors: Veronique Rochus, David Cheyns

Promotor: Jan Genoe, Bram Vanderborght

What we do for you

We offer you the opportunity to join one of the world’s premier research centers in nanotechnology at its headquarters in Leuven, Belgium. With your talent, passion and expertise, you’ll become part of a team that makes the impossible possible. Together, we shape the technology that will determine the society of tomorrow.

We are proud of our open, multicultural, and informal working environment with ample possibilities to take initiative and show responsibility. We commit to supporting and guiding you in this process; not only with words but also with tangible actions. Through, 'our corporate university', we actively invest in your development to further your technical and personal growth.

We are aware that your valuable contribution makes imec a top player in its field. Your energy and commitment are therefore appreciated by means of a competitive scholarship.

Who you are

  • You are a highly motivated postdoctoral researcher, holding a PhD degree in nano-engineering, physics, material science, electrical engineering, or related.
  • You have experience with multi-physics modeling and semi-conductor processing.
  • You will work in laboratory environments and present your obtained results regularly.
  • You are a team player and have good communication skills as you will work in a multidisciplinary and multicultural team spanning several imec departments.
  • Given the international character of imec, an excellent knowledge of English is a must.

This postdoctoral position is funded by imec through KU Leuven. Because of the specific financing statute which targets international mobility for postdocs, only candidates who did not stay or work/study in Belgium for more than 24 months in the past 3 years can be considered for the position (short stays such as holiday, participation in conferences, etc. are not taken into account).

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