Postdoctoral Research Position in Radiation Hardened Time-To-Digital Conversion

Catholic University of Leuven

The Advanced Integrated Sensing lab (ADVISE) is a research group at Geel Campus performing leading-edge research on radiation tolerant ICs since 2004. The group has achieved important scientific results in characterization of advanced semiconductor components under radiation, modeling of radiation effects in circuit simulators and has presented several radiation hardened mixed-signal and analog integrated circuits.ADVISE has its own RELY lab which allows radiation experiments concerning total dose effects and single event upsets. The research group has gained world-leading expertise in the design of radiation tolerant time-based circuits and is a member of the CMS collaboration at CERN.


Time-to-Digital Converters (TDCs) are a special type of data converters, similar to Analog-to-Digital Converters (ADCs). Where ADCs convert voltages to digital words, TDCs quantize time-intervals to the digital domain, and are comparable to accurate chronometers. TDCs can achieve record breaking accuracies in the order of picosecond (ps), making them perfectly suitable for applications involving optical Time-of-Flight measurements. Accurate time measurement is also needed in harsh radiation environments such as the readout of the many radiation detectors in high-energy physics experiments such as those at CERN in Geneva, but also for Space systems and and many terrestrial nuclear applications. Radiation impacts electronics in 2 ways: (1) long term (cumulative) degeneration known as Total Ionizing Dose (TID) effects and (2) instantaneous errors known as Single-Event Effects (SEEs) which challenges the design of radiation hardened TDCs. In previous projects we have tackled many of these challenges in different high-performance TDC chips.
This postdoctoral research position targets to address three mandatory aspects to bring the technology to a demonstrator level in order to  open the roadmap for commercialization.
1. Current prototypes only contain one channel, meaning only one start-stop event can be measured per chip. Typical applications demand multiple, synchronized and (self) calibrated channels. Within this postdoctoral project, you will develop a multi-channel TDC based on the previously demonstrated TDC core.
2. The power consumption of current prototypes is relatively high for space or battery powered applications where power consumption is a bottleneck. The TDC core alone consumes 30 mW. Hence the second objective is to research improvements to reduce the power consumption to 10 mW + 5 mw/channel, making it more attractive for partners to adopt this device.
3. Finally, you will develop demonstration samples to allow customers to integrate the converters as part of their prototypes.

Each innovation will require radiation testing since new circuitry is included. We foresee both TID experiments and laser tests (available in our ADVISE RELY lab) and heavy ion tests in a cyclotron facility (such as UCL or Univ. Jyvaskyla).


We are looking for a candidate who holds (or will soon hold) a doctoral (PhD) degree in Electronic Engineering or equivalent. Good experience and solid knowledge of CMOS integrated circuit design is required. The candidate should have a strong interest in electronics and nuclear physics. Proficiency in English is required.


Besides a competitive salary and a flexible, dynamic and stimulating research environment, we offer a position in the ADVISE research group that has a leading experience in radiation tolerant integrated circuit design, collaborating closely with CERN.


For more information please contact Prof. dr. ir. Paul Leroux, tel.: +32 14 72 13 06, mail: or Prof. dr. Jeffrey Prinzie, tel.: +32 14 72 13 38, mail:

You can apply for this job no later than January 31, 2021 via the
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  • Employment percentage: Voltijds
  • Location: Geel
  • Apply before: January 31, 2021
  • Tags: Elektrotechniek