In-situ Monitoring of Mechanical Properties of Nanomaterials

  • In-situ Monitoring of Mechanical Properties of Nanomaterials

School of Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science 
& ECIT Global Research Institute

Proposed project Title: In-situ Monitoring of Mechanical Properties of Nanomaterials

Supervisor : Dr Neil Mitchell
Second Supervisor : Dr Hamza Shakeel 

Consistent advancements in semiconductor fabrication techniques and the related characterization tools have pushed single transistor dimensions to sub 10 nano meters. We can now image sub nanometre dimensions primarily due to major scientific breakthroughs in developing scanning electron microscopy, transmission electron microscopy, scanning tunnelling microscopy and atomic force microscopy.

Recent interest in 2-D nanomaterials and especially heterogeneous growth of materials for emerging applications have opened up the need to characterize their critical mechanical properties. Although quartz crystal microbalance (QCM) has been widely used in semi-conductor industry for thickness monitoring but characterization of mechanical properties of deposited materials is not straight forward.

The objective of this PhD project is to develop asensor that can be used to characterize mechanical properties of thin films in real-time. The work will cover design, computational modelling, and testing of a novel silicon micro machined oscillator geometry. Student will also gain extensive experience of building a high-vacuum test platform. The project will involve actively working with academic partners within/outside UK. Major part of the development work will be conducted at Queen’s Advanced Micro engineering Centre (QAMEC). 

Contact details

Supervisor: Dr Neil Mitchell
08.028  Ashby Building
Stranmillis Road
Tel # +44 (0)28 9097 4082


2nd Supervisor: Dr Hamza Shakeel
07.010 Ashby Building
Stranmillis Road
Tel # +44 (0)28 9097 4083