PhD: “ Design of active control and mitigation strategies for Lunar Dust ”

Position: PhD Thesis in Electronic Engineering with FI or FPU fellowships Micro and Nano Technologies Group (MNT) at the Technical University of Catalonia (UPC). Barcelona, Spain. Research group affiliated to IEEC.

Contact : Please send CV to :

phd in europe
PhD in Electronic Engineering 3


The MNT group is participating in the planning of future missions to Mars and theMoon within the context of an ongoing European Space Agency (ESA) project.

In this context, the MNT group is working in the design and fabrication of mitigation strategies for Lunar Dust, which is one of the worst problems in Moon exploration [RD1-RD3]. The strategies will be focused on the design of Smart Electrostatic Dust Shields. Background: work by the UPC group on trapped charge controls for MEMS switches, [RD4-RD8].


Development of sensing and actuation strategies for the control of trapped charge in Lunar dust. Design of active controls loops for charge sensing and dust removal.

Testing of the proposed strategies on optical surfaces (planar windows and lenses). Actuation electrodes will be fabricated with Transparent Conductive Oxides (TCO).

Testing of the proposed strategies on seals. Seals are required to isolate samples from external contamination (for example ISRU).


We expect the candidates to apply for the competitive FI and/or FPU fellowships.These fellowships, in case they are granted to the candidate, fund the PhD for 4 years. The net quantities for the PhD candidate are in the range: 1000-1100 euros/month.

Prospective students must have a strong background in analog and digital electronics.Physics background will also be very valued. The call for these fellowships is scheduled for July-September 2020.


[RD.1] N. Afshar-Mohajer, et al, “Electrostatic collection of tribocharged lunar dust simulants”, Advanced Powder Technology, 25, (2014) 1800-1807.
[RD.2] Daniel J. Lacks, et al, “Triboelectric charging in single-component particle systems”, Particulate Science and Technology, 34:1, 55-62, 2016.
[RD.3] J.R. Gaier, E.A. Sechkar, “Lunar Simulation in the Lunar Dust adhesion bell jar”, 45th AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting and Exhibit, AIAA 2007-963, 2007.
[RD.4] M. Dominguez-Pumar, C. Bheesayagari, S. Gorreta, G. López, I. Martín, E.Blokhina, J. Pons-Nin, ‘Charge Trapping Control in MOS Capacitors.’ IEEE Trans. Industrial Electronics, Vol. 64, No. 4, pp. 3023-
3029, 2017.

[RD.5] C. Bheesayagari, S. Gorreta, J. Pons-Nin, M. Domínguez-Pumar, ‘Second order sigma-delta control of charge trapping for MOS capacitors.’ Microelectronics Reliability, Vol. 76-77, pp. 635-639, 2017.
[RD.6] M. Dominguez-Pumar, C. Bheesayagari, S. Gorreta, G. López, J. Pons-Nin ‘Closed-loop Compensation of Charge Trapping Induced by Ionizing Radiation in MOS Capacitors.’ IEEE Trans. Industrial Electronics, Vol. 65, No. 3, pp. 218-2524, 2018.
[RD.7] C. Bheesayagari, J. Pons-Nin, M.T. Atienza and M. Domínguez-Pumar ‘Diffusive Representation and
Sliding Mode Control of Charge Trapping in Al2O3 MOS Capacitors.’ IEEE Trans. Industrial Electronics, Vol. 66 , No. 11 , pp. 8628 – 8637, 2019.
[RD.8] C. Bheesayagari, J. Pons-Nin, A. Orpella, B. Véliz, S. Bermejo, M. Domínguez-Pumar ‘Conduction mechanisms and charge trapping control in SiO2 nanoparticle MIM capacitors.’ In press in Electrochimica
Acta, March 2020.

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