The proposed topic is part of a CARNOT project aiming at developing a new generation of force sensors based on optomechanical transduction. These force sensors will be implemented in ultrafast AFM microscopes for imaging and force spectroscopy. They will allow to address biological and biomedical applications on sub-microsecond or even nanosecond time scales in force spectroscopy mode.
First optomechanical VLSI force probes on silicon have been designed and fabricated in LETI's industrial grade clean rooms and have led to first proofs of concept for fast AFM [1,2]. The post-doctoral student will be in charge of the preparation of force probes in order to integrate them in a high speed AFM developed by our partner at CNRS LAAS (Toulouse). He will be in charge of the back end operations, from the release of the structures, their observation (SEM, optical microscopies, etc.), to the optical packaging with fiber optic ferrules. He will also participate in the development of a test bench for components before and after packaging to select devices and validate the packaged probes before integration into an AFM.
The post-doctoral student will also investigate the operation of the probe in a liquid medium to allow later AFM studies of biological phenomena: for this, the development of efficient actuation means (electrostatic, thermal or optical) of the mechanical structure will be carried out and applied experimentally. A feedback on the modeling and the design is expected from the measurements, in order to ensure the understanding of the observed physical phenomena. Finally, the post-doctoral fellow will have the possibility to propose new device designs to target the expected performances. The devices will be fabricated in Leti's clean room, then tested and compared to the expected performances.