PhD-student: Deep learning: new methods to improve optical imaging and metrology

Date posted November 22, 2022
Type PhD positions

As a PhD student, you will develop a Machine Learning framework for high-resolution optical imaging and metrology. You will use the developed methods to image complex wafer metrology targets and to improve the precision of modern methods of alignment and overlay metrology.

Recent years have witnessed the rise of deep learning as a powerful tool for computational imaging. The ability to improve spatial resolution and imaging speed without the need for high-quality optical elements provides many exciting possibilities in science and technology. Deep neural networks will be implemented to reconstruct images distorted by propagating through lenses with high aberrations or through a multimode fiber. You will develop computational methods to overcome the diffraction limit and observe objects much smaller than half the wavelength of light. Working closely with experimental collaborators within ARCNL and with industrial partners will allow to implement new computational approaches in many experimental projects: lensless imaging with extreme ultraviolet, fiber-based endo-microscopy, and holographic dark-field microscopy.
Your work will enable fast and accurate characterization of 3D multi-layer nanostructures and pave the way for better and cheaper metrology tools for tomorrow’s nanolithography.

You will perform this project together with a team of PhD students and postdocs in the Metrology department at ARCNL. You will be embedded into Nanoscale Imaging and Metrology group and collaborate with researchers from Computational Imaging, EUV Generation and Imaging, and High Harmonic Generation and EUV Science groups. The position will involve close collaboration with researchers of the Amsterdam Machine Learning Lab of UvA, researchers of Vrije University (VU) Amsterdam and researchers at the Dutch semiconductor manufacturing equipment company ASML.

About the group

The Advanced Research Center for Nanolithography (ARCNL) focuses on the fundamental physics involved in current and future key technologies in nano-lithography, primarily for the semiconductor industry. ARCNL is a public-private partnership between the Foundation for Fundamental Research on Matter (FOM), the University of Amsterdam (UvA), the VU University Amsterdam (VU) and the semiconductor equipment manufacturer ASML. ARCNL is located at the Science Park Amsterdam, The Netherlands, and has a size of approximately 100 scientists and support staff. See also
The Nanoscale Imaging and Metrology group focuses on advanced imaging, sensing, and metrology tools. We are developing new label-free far-field imaging techniques with a spatial resolution beyond the Abbe (diffraction) limit and temporal resolution beyond the Nyquist limit. The research connects several modern and dynamic scientific fields: computational imaging, complex wavefront shaping, compressive sensing, endo-microscopy and optical metrology.


We are looking for an enthusiastic candidate with an MSc or equivalent degree in physics or mathematics. A background in machine learning, optics and/or computational imaging is a clear advantage. Affinity for solving mathematical problems, large-scale optimization techniques, and working as part of a team are considered important. Good verbal and written communication skills (in English) are required. You will need to meet the requirements for an MSc-degree, to ensure eligibility for a Dutch PhD examination.

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 € 2,539 per month and a range of employment benefits. After successful completion of the PhD research a PhD degree will be granted at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU). Several courses are offered, specially developed for PhD-students. ARCNL assists any new foreign PhD-student with housing and visa applications and compensates their transport costs and furnishing expenses.

Contact info

Dr. Lyuba Amitonova
Group leader Nanoscale Imaging and Metrology
Phone: +31 (0)20-754 7100

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Applications will be evaluated on a rolling basis and as soon as an excellent match is made, the position will be filled.

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