IPVF PhD Thesis: Fabrication of III-V Materials by PECVD


Function: PhD student

Contract type: CDD

Starting date: October 2021

Working place: Palaiseau (IPVF & Ecole Polytechnique)

Duration: 36 months

Education: Master 2/Engineer


IPVF in brief

Become an actor of the Energy Transition by joining a team driven by innovation and impact to address today’s most decisive challenges.

IPVF – Institut Photovoltaïque d’Île-de-France, is a global Research, Innovation and Education center, which mission is to accelerate energy transition through science & technology.

Gathering industrial PV leaders (EDF, TotalEnergies, Air Liquide, Horiba and Riber) and world-renowned academic research organizations (CNRS, Ecole Polytechnique), multi-disciplinary and international IPVF teams conduct research for clean energy technologies.

Supported by the French State, IPVF is labelled Institute for Energy Transition (ITE).


IPVF at a glance:

-An ambitious Scientific and Technological Program (6 programs divided into 24 work packages): from tandem solar cell technologies to economy & market assessment, state-of-the art characterization, photocatalysis and breakthrough concepts.

-A state-of-the-art technological platform (8,000 m²): more than 100 cutting-edge equipments worth €30M, located in cleanrooms (advanced characterization, materials deposition, prototypes for fabrication, modelling…).

-A high-standard Education program (M.S. and PhD students).


Job context

The PhD position will be carried out in the frame of IPVF Program III related to III-V on silicon tandem solar cells. The main objective of the project is to develop novel low-cost methods to fabricate III-V materials based on plasma-assisted (PECVD) growth in a newly designed

While III-V materials are leading solar efficiency records, they only share a small part of the PV market due to their cost. The aim of PECVD epitaxy is to demonstrate the feasibility of GaAs epitaxial growth at low temperature and low-pressure PECVD in order to achieve a higher utilization of the gas precursors and therefore reduce the materials costs. Moreover, lowtemperature deposition should mitigate issues of  thermal stress taking place in MOCVD.

More information: IPVF Research Program involving this PhD student position: https://ipvf.fr/stephane-collin-introducing-ipvf-programme-3-low-cost-tandem-iii-v-cell-on-silicon/.


Main missions

The candidate will directly report to the Programs Deputy Director of IPVF and will have world-renowned PhD thesis Director and co-Director.

She/he will integrate a dynamic and talented team driven by innovation and results.


The missions of the PhD student will be:

  • Contribute to the development of the PECVD reactor:

PECVD epitaxial growth of III-V materias was demonstrated in the 1980’s. Since then the technique has not been further studied despite of its numerous advantages. A new PECVD reactor has been specially designed at LPICM. The candidate will contribute to the first tests and develop/improve the reactor.


  • Demonstrate the feasibility of growing III-V materials by PECVD:

Deposition GaAs layers on GaAs substrates (homoepitaxy) and characterize their optoelectronic properties and optimize the process conditions (substrate temperature, pressure, gas flow rates, RF power…) in order to produce GaAs films with properties compatible with solar cells. For that purpose, the materials produced by MBE for instance will be used as internal benchmark. The process conditions will be optimized by combining studies of the plasma phase as well as of the films properties. For the film properties, the student will rely of optical (ellipsometry, IR, absorption), structural (Raman spectroscopy and X-ray diffraction) and electronic properties (photoluminescence, Hall effect…).


  • Fabrication of GaAs solar cells:

The epitaxial GaAs layers produced by PECVD will be implemented as the absorber layer in GaAs solar cells, having doped layers produced by MBE (from IPVF). These cells will allow to qualify the properties of the materials in a functional device.


She/he will work in close relationship with highly qualified scientists, specialized in III-V materials and process development. This environment gives the PhD candidate many opportunities to tackle this project challenge and gain experience.


Expected profile


Engineering/Master degree in materials science, physics of semiconductor or related.

Knowledge of surface engineering and thin film deposition.

Experience in plasma processes is an asset.

Expertise in materials characterization is a plus.


Self-management skills

Autonomy, curiosity, spirit of taking initiative,

Strong willingness to be working in the lab on the reactor


Cover letter and resume to be sent to: pere.roca@ipvf.fr, erik.johnson@polytechnique.edu and rh@ipvf.fr.

Need a direct line?

Feel free to contact us for more information about our offers.

  • +33(0)1 69 86 58 60
  • contact@ipvf.fr
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