PhD position: Laser-droplet interaction for EUV lithography (project MOORELIGHT)

Date posted November 22, 2023
Type PhD positions

This fully funded PhD position lies at the interface between fundamental physics and industrial application. It is part of a fully funded Consolidator Grant from the European Research Council titled “Next-Generation Light Source: Driving plasmas to power tomorrow’s nanolithography (MOORELIGHT)”.

 Background
Advanced semiconductor devices are produced using extreme ultraviolet (EUV) light at just 13.5nm wavelength. The recent revolutionary introduction of EUV lithography (EUVL) was the culmination of several decades of collaborative work between industry and science – a Project Apollo of the digital age. EUVL is powered by light that is produced in the interaction of high-energy CO2-gas laser pulses with molten tin microdroplets. The use of such lasers leads to low overall efficiency in converting electrical power to useful EUV light. Replacing gas lasers with much more efficient solid-state lasers may significantly improve efficiency, as well as output power. It is currently however unclear what laser wavelength, and what plasma ‘recipe’ should be used. This is because we lack understanding of the underlying complex physics. The goal of project MOORELIGHT is to deliver the missing insight.

Project goal
The EUV-emitting laser-produced plasmas are generated from tin targets carefully shaped (hydrodynamically deformed) by a series of laser “pre-pulses”. The ability to shape & control these tin targets is critical for efficient  generation of EUV light for current and future light sources. Such abilities will originate from understanding the driving physical processes.

You will join a team of several PhD students and postdocs and have as an objective to design & execute experiments to understand the deformation and fragmentation of laser-impacted thin liquid tin targets: what really happens when a laser pulse hits a tin droplet? New fluid dynamics understanding will lead to new capabilities for laser-tailoring targets. These new capabilities will allow target tailoring to optimally couple to laser light to produce hot-and-dense plasma. You (and the rest of the team) will be responsible for the setup, execution, analysis, and interpretation of the experiments.

What does ARCNL offer you?

  • Responsibility over a setup including state-of-the-art droplet generators and laser system.
  • The ability to improve your experimental skills in extensive experimental campaigns that can be designed with a lot of freedom.
  • Collaboration with the in-house theory group, allowing you to develop a thorough understanding of the underlying target dynamics.
  • A wide range of existing (image) data analysis tools, allowing you to apply and develop your data analysis skills.
  • Cooperation within a large team of PhD students and postdoc and with a large industrial partner.

About the group

The Advanced Research Center for Nanolithography (ARCNL) focuses on the fundamental physics and chemistry involved in current and future key technologies in nanolithography, primarily for the semiconductor industry. ARCNL is a public-private partnership between the Dutch Research Council (NWO), the University of Amsterdam (UvA), the VU University Amsterdam (VU), and associate partner the University of Groningen (RuG), and the semiconductor equipment manufacturer ASML. ARCNL is located at the Amsterdam Science Park, The Netherlands, and has a size of approximately 100 scientists and support staff. See also www.arcnl.nl 

The research activities of the EUV Plasma Processes group aim at the atomic- and molecular-level understanding of the fundamental dynamics in the operation of contemporary and future plasma-based sources of extreme-ultraviolet (EUV) light for nanolithography.

Qualifications

You have (or soon will have) a MSc physics or applied physics. Knowledge about fluid mechanics and/or experimental laser physics is advantageous. Programming skills (Python) are welcomed. Good verbal and written communication skills (in English) are required.

Terms of employment

The position is intended as full-time (40 hours / week, 12 months / year) appointment in the service of the Netherlands Foundation of Scientific Research Institutes (NWO-I) for the duration of four years, with a starting salary of gross € 2,720 per month and a  range of employment benefits. After successful completion of the PhD research a PhD degree will be granted at a Dutch University. Several courses are offered, specially developed for PhD-students. A favorable tax agreement, the ‘30% ruling’, may apply to non-Dutch applicants. ARCNL assists any new foreign PhD-student with housing and visa applications and compensates their transport costs and furnishing expenses.

Contact info

Dr. Oscar Versolato
Group leader EUV Plasma Processes
E-mail: versolato@arcnl.nl
Phone: +31 (0)20-851 7100

Please send your:
– Resume
– Motivation letter on why you want to join the group (max. 1 page).

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.

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