Student Projects

ICLAB encourages students to develop practical experience and offers practical student projects in Electrical Engineering and Microengineering. Graduate and undergraduate students interested in one of ICLAB’s fields of research are invited to send in a email of motivation with a CV to the responsibles of the project they are interested in.

General information

A lump sum of CHF 600.- for transportation expenses’ support will be given to each student doing his/her Semester project in ICLAB in Neuchâtel.

A lump sum of CHF 1600.- for transportation expenses’ support will be given to each student doing his/her Master project in ICLAB in Neuchâtel.

No refund of effective fees will be provided. We advise students coming to do a project in Neuchâtel to buy a half-fare subscription.

                                                                                                                                                                         

Towards Compact Glucose Sensing Using Vibrational Imaging

Information

Project Type:          Master Project
Contact Person:     Assim Boukhayma
Publication Date:   06.08.2019
Location:                EPFL Microcity, Neuchâtel
Keywords:              Glucose sensing, light sensors, imaging

Description

With diabetes still not having a well-established cure, the regular monitoring of the blood glucose level remains the only way to avoid severe secondary health complication through controlled insulin administration. Today, invasive techniques like the fingerstick testing remain the only solutions allowing precise and reliable blood glucose monitoring for diabetic subjects.
The development of a non-invasive blood glucose monitoring technique would improve significantly the life quality of diabetic subjects and help early detection and prevention of diabetes for the healthy ones.
In this regard, vibrational spectroscopy, especially Raman scattering, has exhibited substantial promise due to its exquisite molecular specificity and minimal interference of water in the spectral profiles acquired from the blood-tissue matrix.
Raman spectroscopy as a probe of vibrational transitions has made a considerable progress thanks to the continuous development of laser sources in the visible range providing high intensity and coherent light. In addition, other vibrational spectroscopy schemes have been derived out of spontaneous Raman spectroscopy including non-linear techniques like stimulated Raman spectroscopy.

Project

The Raman signature of blood Glucose is well known and the detection of glucose concentration in fluid solution have been extensively published and used for industrial applications. The objective of this project is to explore the limits of Raman spectroscopy miniaturization to be used for mobile blood glucose sensing. For this purpose, the student needs to go through the following steps:

  • Getting familiar with the theoretical principle of coherent and stimulated Raman spectroscopy
  • Performing Raman spectroscopy on glucose solutions and specifying the limits of power and SNR
  • Exploring the advantage of using the highly sensitive CMOS light sensor developed at ICLAB and the impact on required power and specifying the minimum requirements for a vibrational spectroscopy glucose sensor

Candidate

The candidate should preferable have the following skills:

  • Experience with optical setups
    • Some experience with lasers and lenses in visible domain
    • Spectroscopy and particularly non-linear or Raman spectroscop
  • Electronic circuits and systems engineering
    • Understanding circuits (key words: PCB, LEDs, Circuits, Altium…)
    • Programing in lab environment (key words: Labview, VHDL, FPGA…)

                                                                                                                                                                         

Active Body Biasing in FDSOI-based analog circuits

Information

Project Type:          Master Project
Contact Person:     Alessandro Pezzotta
Publication Date:   22.10.2018
Location:                EPFL Microcity, Neuchâtel
Keywords:              Analog IC design, FDSOI, back gate

Description

The FDSOI process represents, together with the finFET, a main branch of IC technology developed by the semiconductor industry to continue the pursuit to the Moore’s law. The main difference with respect to the traditional bulk technologies is the presence of a second gate, below the conducting channel, called “back gate”. Several works in the state-of-the-art are been demonstrating the advantage of this additional degree of freedom in analog and digital IC design. As a matter of fact, its main effect is the capability of controlling the device threshold voltage acting on its bias voltage. However, the control of the back gate has so far been performed passively. Indeed, by means of a static control of its voltage (sometimes with the inclusion of a charge-pumping circuit for enabling high voltages) the designers are able to modify the I-V characteristic of the device in a certain range. At ICLAB, a simplified version of the charge-based EKV model has been developed for FDSOI technologies, able to take into account the back-gate effect with the addition of only one parameter with respect to the bulk version.

Project

The main target of the project is the investigation of Active Body Biasing (ABB) techniques for analog IC design in FDSOI technologies, i.e. to find circuital solutions which can actively control the back-gate voltage, in order to boost the performance of commonly-used analog building blocks, and to develop accordingly a design methodology that exploits the simplified EKV model, based on the inversion coefficient.

                                                                                                                                                                         

Mixed-Mode PPD-based Pixel Simulation Flow

Information

Project Type:          Semester Project
Contact Person:     Raffaele Capoccia, Assim Boukhayma
Publication Date:   24.10.2018
Location:                EPFL Microcity, Neuchâtel
Keywords:              PPD, imaging, TCAD

Description

CMOS image sensors are currently leading for mass market applications of cameras, integrated in 95% of total mage sensors. To further improve their performance in advanced applications, a key point is the design of the pixel and its optimization. The latter is not a simple task to accomplish, since it implies a deep understanding of both device and circuits features with the possibility of accurate simulation.

Project

This project aims to develop an environment which includes into a device simulator (Synopsys TCAD Sentaurus) a SPICE-like circuit netlist, proving the potential of the so-called Mixed-Mode simulation. For this purpose, the student needs to go through the following steps:

  • Clear understanding of both devices and circuits features in CIS
  • Get familiar with the device simulator and its scripting language (TCL)
  • Make use of a commercial standard CMOS image sensor design kit
  • Validation of a novel pixel with the developed environment

                                                                                                                                                                         

Remote Power-data Link for drinkable CMOS diagnostics

Information

Project Type:          Semester Project
Contact Person:     Sandro Carrara, Alessandro Pezzotta
Publication Date:   24.10.2018
Location:                EPFL Microcity, Neuchâtel
Keywords:              diagnostics, biosensors, powerdata link

Description

Integrated biosensors are the next frontier for human healthcare. In order to be cost-effective for market solutions, CMOS-compatible integrated solutions are capable to benefit of the semiconductor technology know-how. One of the target applications is cancer detection and analysis “in situ”, therefore with a miniaturized system that, directly from inside the human body can mark and track the presence and the evolution of a tumor through the analysis of specific biomarkers. We aim of investigating the possibilities of development for fully drinkable and autonomous CMOS dust capable of identifying a target-body-region source of a disease (e.g., a tumor mass) and automatically send diagnostic telemetry outside the body. Of course, in the micro-size, no batteries are allowed on board of the CMOS electronics. Therefore, a smart system has to be developed in order to provide power to the CMOS circuits, which eventually can be exploited also for data transmission.

Project

The target of the project is to investigate the feasibility of an RF remote power-data link for a drinkable CMOS diagnostic system, by means of backscattering techniques that can also be exploited for data transmission. Starting from the state-of-the-art analysis in RF remote power and data links, the analysis should highlight the trade-offs of such a system and provide the main specifications, represented by the transferred power and its efficiency, the area occupation, the link constraints in range and frequency for a future prototype implementation. For this purpose, the student needs to go through the following steps:

  • Investigate the state-of-the-art of remote power and data links for miniaturized systems
  • Highlight the main trade-offs of possible implementations in terms of power, efficiency, area and range
  • Provide a suitable configuration for a future prototype implementation, including the power-data links specifications and features

                                                                                                                                                                         

IC-based Analog Design in CIS

Information

Project Type:          Semester Project
Contact Person:     Raffaele Capoccia, Assim Boukhayma
Publication Date:   24.10.2018
Location:                EPFL Microcity, Neuchâtel
Keywords:              sEKV, CIS, analog design

Description

CMOS image sensors are currently leading for mass market applications of cameras, integrated in 95% of total mage sensors. To further improve their performance in advanced applications, a key point is the design of the pixel and its optimization. The latter is not a simple task to accomplish, since it implies a deep understanding of both device and circuits features with the possibility of accurate simulation.

Project

This project aims to develop an environment which includes into a device simulator (Synopsys TCAD Sentaurus) a SPICE-like circuit netlist, proving the potential of the so-called Mixed-Mode simulation. For this purpose, the student needs to go through the following steps:

  • Clear understanding of both devices and circuits features in CIS
  • Get familiar with the device simulator and its scripting language (TCL)
  • Make use of a commercial standard CMOS image sensor design kit
  • Validation of a novel pixel with the developed environment

                                                                                                                                                                         

Flicker noise characterization of 28nm bulk MOSFETs

Information

Project Type:          Semester Project
Contact Person:     Alessandro Pezzotta
Publication Date:   24.10.2018
Location:                EPFL Microcity, Neuchâtel
Keywords:              flicker noise, CMOS, 28nm

Description

Noise characterization is a fundamental aspect of semiconductor device modeling. Indeed, every application that includes the use of integrated circuits has to deal with noise performance. Among all the noise sources in such devices, flicker noise is of a particular interest in sensors interfaces, since it is characterized by an inverse dependence on the frequency (1/f). Therefore, an accurate flicker noise modeling becomes of utmost importance, also considering the physical mechanisms that are at its basis, and its dependence of the device geometry and bias conditions. This will help the circuit designers to correctly address the trade-offs for their design optimization, especially when targeting low-power and low-noise applications. For this purpose, exploiting the know-how developed at ICLAB on semiconductor device modeling, a flicker noise characterization for an ultra-scaled 28nm bulk CMOS technology is crucial for a deep investigation of flicker noise performance and for improving existing analytical models, making use of the charge-based approach.

Project

The target of the project is to characterize single test devices from a 28nm bulk CMOS technology in terms of flicker noise performance. For this purpose, the student needs to go through the following steps:

  • Set-up the lab testbench for 1/f noise measurements and learn how to use dedicated equipment
  • Perform 1/f noise measurements of MOSFETs in different biasing conditions and for different geometries
  • Organize the resulting database and analyze the results

                                                                                                                                                                         

RF characterization of 28nm bulk MOSFETs

Information

Project Type:          Semester Project
Contact Person:     Alessandro Pezzotta
Publication Date:   24.10.2018
Location:                EPFL Microcity, Neuchâtel
Keywords:              RF, CMOS, 28nm

Description

The scaling-down process that CMOS technologies are experiencing since their introduction aims to reduce their market cost and at the same time to improve their speed, especially for digital applications. As a direct consequence, the transit frequency of the device has dramatically increased, reaching more than 300 GHz in the latest ultra-scaled CMOS processes. This paved the way for fully integrated RF transceivers, that enabled the enormous amount of mobile devices we all use and benefit. Obviously, this application require a deep knowledge of the device operation at this high frequencies, including the performance dependence on geometry and bias conditions. Therefore, a modeling activity focused on RF regimes is crucial. In this framework, the 4-ports RF characterization of MOSFETs from an ultra-scaled CMOS process is required to have a deep insight of the MOSFET and to develop a small-signal equivalent circuit for it, to be used in RF circuit design.

Project

The target of the project is to characterize single test devices from a 28nm bulk CMOS technology in terms of RF performance, by means of 4-ports measurements. For this purpose, the student needs to go through the following steps:

  • Learn the basics of RF characterization of MOSFETs
  • Set-up the lab testbench for RF measurements and learn how to use dedicated equipment
  • Perform 4-ports RF measurements of MOSFETs in different biasing conditions
  • Organize the resulting database and analyze the results