Applied physicsMaterials Science and Engineering
University of Twente (UT), the Netherlands
Sep 30, 2023 21:59:00 GMT+00:00
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Are you interested in research on free-standing thin films of only few tens of nanometer thickness involving EUV experiments at a synchrotron?

Ultra-thin, transparent free-standing membranes are used as protective windows (‘pellicles’) in EUV photolithography, to protect EUV masks from contamination. The membranes need to resist not only thermo-mechanical stresses, but also surface degradation by EUV photon induced chemical reactions, bombardment by low energetic ions, and chemical etching by radicals. We are looking for a motivated and skilled researcher to investigate physical and chemical modifications of ultra-thin membranes. The aim of the project is to develop fundamental knowledge on the EUV-induced degradation mechanisms of thin films and find materials and processes to mitigate pellicle damage.

The project will be carried in the Industrial Focus Group XUV Optics where you will join a motivated team of researchers in the field of EUV optical devices. The group is at the forefront of fundamental research, relevant to high-tech, industrial focused applications ( The research will be carried out in a state-of-the-art thin film laboratory within the MESA+ Institute for Nanotechnology at the University of Twente, in collaboration with the PTB Laboratory in Berlin.

As a PhD researcher, your tasks will be to design and execute experiments in the context of EUV induced material damage mechanisms. You will make use of state-of-the art surface coating and analysis techniques (XPS, LEIS, XRD) at the University of Twente and occasionally synchrotron facilities at PTB for EUV degradation experiments. The insights will be used to build analytical models from fundamental principles. An understanding of theoretical concepts in addition to detailed understanding of metrology is therefore, beneficial. In this manner, your contributions will lead to possible new understanding in the field.


  • You have a master’s degree in physics, materials science, light-matter interaction or a related field with relevant knowledge/experience.
  • You are fluent in English and able to collaborate with an international team of industrial and academic parties in regular meetings and work visits.
  • It’s a plus to have lab experience with plasma, thin film deposition and/or thin film analysis setups.

Enthusiasm for coating nanoscale thin films (MEMS, CMOS or related) and studying their optical, structural and mechanical properties.


  • You will be appointed on a fulltime position for four years. The position is available immediately.
  • The university offers a dynamic ecosystem with enthusiastic colleagues in a stimulating scientific environment.
  • The PhD salary is € 2.541,- in the first year, increasing to € 3.247,- in the fourth year.
  • The offer further involves a holiday allowance of 8% of the gross annual salary and a year-end bonus of 8.3%, a solid pension scheme, a minimum of 29 holidays, and numerous professional and personal development programmes.


Your reaction should include an application/motivation letter, emphasizing your specific interest and motivation, a detailed CV, a list of publications, contact details of referees, and an academic transcript of B.Sc. and M.Sc. education. An interview and a scientific presentation will be part of the selection procedure. For more information about the position, you are encouraged to contact Wesley van den Beld at

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