PhD position at TU Vienna: Experimental and simulation analysis of ESD protection devices in advanced silicon high-speed discrete technologies

During the manufacturing or operation of an integrated circuit (IC), the electronic devices are exposed to different kind of disturbing electrical pulses including electrostatic discharges (ESD). In high-speed applications, e.g. USB 3, the protection devices need to exhibit a low capacitance which contradicts the requirement for high ESD robustness. With the technology down-scaling, the existing on-chip protection schemes are not efficient anymore due to the large area consumption for the ESD protection device in the chip. Therefore off-chip ESD protection elements based on discrete component technologies are necessary to fulfill the above requirements.

The topic of this PhD thesis is the experimental and simulation analysis of the internal behavior of advanced high-speed Si discrete technology ESD protection devices. The PhD candidate will combine electrical and optical techniques to analyze breakdown phenomena, self-heating effects and the current density distribution in the ESD protection devices during the ESD pulses. The unique transient interferometric mapping technique developed at TU Vienna will be employed to measure thermal and free-carrier response with ns time and µm space resolution during ESD pulse (Fig.1). The obtained experimental data will be related to breakdown mechanisms, electrical triggering behavior and particular layout of ESD protection devices. The candidate will also model device behavior using TCAD simulation (Fig.2). The goal of the experimental and simulation analysis is to understand the device physics and thus to optimize the studied structures for high ESD robustness. The work will be published in scientific journals and conferences.
The topic is suited both for electrical engineers and physicists with the interest in semiconductor device physics and characterization, modeling and electronics. The work will be performed in the frame of a project contract with NEXPERIA Hamburg. It will contribute to the development of new ESD protection concepts.
Requirements: Basic knowledge of semiconductor device physics, English, completed master study
Duration: 3 years
Start: immediately, Remuneration: approx. 2071 Euro Brutto/Month

Contact person at TU Vienna: Associate Professor Dr. Dionyz Pogany (
The application and CV should be sent by email to:
Contact Nexperia Hamburg: Development Marcel Bleyl (