Felix Risch: PhD at EPFL (Swiss Federal Polytechnical Institute), Switzerland


Domain-wall-based conductive channels and interfaces for reconfigurable circuits


Dr. Igor Stolichnov (EPFL)

Non-academic Supervisor:

Dr. Stephan Tiedke (AixACCT Systems GmbH, Germany)

Role within MANIC:

Vice President Feb. 2022 – Present


Felix Risch was born in Darmstadt in 1993 and began studying physics at the TU Darmstadt in 2012 where he graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in 2016. During his Master’s degree at the TU Darmstadt he focused on the physics of nonlinear optics, advanced laser physics and applied semiconductor photonics. He gained international experience during an exchange program at the University of Singapore (NUS) and industrial experience through an internship at Bosch, where he worked on future sensor technologies. In 2019, he obtained his Master’s degree from the TU Darmstadt. His thesis “High-precision stabilization of laser beams in a MINFLUX microscope” was carried out at the Max Planck Institute for Medical Research in the group of Prof. Stefan Hell. In September 2020, he joined Prof. Ionescu’s group at the EPFL as a PhD student within the EU project MANIC.

Domain-wall-based conductive channels and interfaces for reconfigurable circuits

Conductive domain walls (DW) are attractive for new concepts of information processing because of their electrical reconfigurability and robust, non-thermally-activated (in case of metallic DWs) transport properties. The project includes fabrication of arrays of conductive channels with controlled/changeable patterns based on ferroelectric/ferroelastic domain walls. The materials including classic ferroelectrics like PbZr1-xTixO3and novel CMOS-compatible ferroelectrics like (Hf,Zr)O2  is grown by PLD and ALD techniques and analyzed by various methods including advanced scanning probe techniques. Felix is in charge of fabrication of the functional elements, experimental investigations of the channels and their interfaces/contacts as well as analysis/modeling of the results. The main part of the research is done at EPFL, Switzerland. Additionally, Felix is spending the secondments at Queen’s University of Belfast, United Kingdom for device processing/characterization (1 month) and Solmates B.V., the Netherlandsfor device integration on large scale wafers (1 month).

EPFL is one of the leading technical universities in Europe with about 10’000 students. It offers an exciting and stimulating atmosphere for teaching, learning, and research, promoting collaboration between the academic scientists and industry. A number of competence centers and facilities including the clean rooms (CMI), interdisciplinary center for electron microscopy (CIME) and others offer a very competitive research environment.

The Nanoelectronic Devices Laboratory (NANOLAB) is working on various subjects in the field of silicon and functional oxide micro/nano-electronics with special emphasis on the technology, design and modeling of low power nanoscale solid-state devices and their integration into smart micro/nano-systems. The team is active in development and analysis of various functional materials and their integration on silicon for applications relating to the energy-efficient information processing and storage.


Giant switchable non thermally-activated conduction in 180° domain walls in tetragonal Pb(Zr,Ti)O3