Internship: Atomic scale wear at macroscopically loaded interfaces

Date posted March 23, 2023
Type Scientific internships

At the Advanced Research Center for Nanolithography (ARCNL) we carry out exciting fundamental physics research at the highest possible level with relevance to key technologies in nanolithography. We contribute to the production of ever smarter and smaller electronics, while at the same time pushing the boundaries of our fundamental insight into the workings of nature.

The research field of tribology, devoted to contact formation, friction and wear phenomena down to the atomic scale, is of direct and pressing relevance to the manufacture of semiconductor devices. Friction-induced stresses and deformations on the scale of only a few atomic spacings are starting to challenge the future of nanolithography technology, limiting the achievable feature size in semiconductor chips.

In this project, you will investigate the wear process of SiN surfaces at the nanoscale. In particular, you will investigate the hypothesis that the wear of the SiN, when contacted against Si, is driven by an atomic scale adhesive wear process that is sensitive to the presence of small amounts of water. To do so, you will perform a combination of atomic force microscopy topography measurements and macroscale wear experiments in a controlled environment. 


  1. Leriche et al. Wear 498–499, 204284 (2022).
  2. Hsia et al. Int. 142, 105983 (2020).
  3. Jacobs et al. Nanotech.8, 108-112 (2013).
  4. Hsia et al. Rev. Res. 3, 043204 (2021).

About the group

You will be embedded in the Contact Dynamics team at ARCNL but will also be closely associated with the University of Amsterdam and ASML, the world leading manufacturer of high tech lithography machines for chip making.


You have or will soon have a Bachelor’s degree in physics or a related field and will participate in a Master study during the entire internship duration. The internship must be a mandatory part of your curriculum. You have a nationality of an EU member state and/or you are a student at a Netherlands University. Please note: As of January 2021 the UK is no longer an EU member state. You must be available for at least 5 months.

Terms of employment

At the start of the traineeship your trainee plan will be set out, in consultation with your ARCNL supervisor.

Contact info

Prof.dr. Bart Weber
Group leader (Contact Dynamics)
Phone: +31 (0)20-754 7100

You can respond to this vacancy online via the button below.
Please annex your:
–  Resume;

–  List of followed courses plus grades.
Applications will be evaluated on a rolling basis and as soon as an excellent match is made, the position will be filled.

Online screening may be part of the selection.

Commercial activities in response to this ad are not appreciated.