PhD-student: Femtosecond generation and detection of ultrahigh-frequency sound waves for the detection of buried nanostructures

Date posted June 18, 2019
Type PhD positions

At the Advanced Research Center for Nanolithography (ARCNL) we carry out exciting fundamental physics 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.

This PhD project uses state-of-the-art high power femtosecond laser pulses to generate and detect extremely-high-frequency (up to 1 THz) sound wave packets. The sound-wave packets have wavelengths even smaller than those of visible light. You will perform fundamental research on the generation and detection of these sound waves, and study their application potential for the detection of nano-structures, such as gratings, buried below opaque layers. Extremely high frequency sound wave propagation depends on material properties such as material-density and speed of sound, but is also expected to be affected by the graininess of a material. The project combines ultrafast laser physics and materials science and has the added bonus of possibly seeing the results used in real applications.

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 Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO), 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 is currently building up towards a size of approximately 100 scientists and support staff.

You will be embedded in the EUV Targets group at ARCNL, which frequently interacts with our industrial partner ASML. The research activities of the EUV Targets group mainly take place in the general area of “metrology” and cover both fundamental research and real-life applications of that research.


You have an MSc in (applied) physics. Knowledge in the fields of optical physics or laser physics and solid-state physics is advantageous. 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. After successful completion of the PhD research a PhD degree will be granted at the University of Amsterdam (UVA). Several courses are offered, specially developed for PhD-students. ARCNL assists any new foreign PhD-student with visa applications and compensates their transport costs and furnishing expenses.

Contact info

Prof. dr. P.C.M. Planken
Group leader EUV Targets
Phone: +31 (0)20-851 7100

Please send your:
– Resume;
– Motivation on why you want to join the group (max. 1 page).
Applications without this motivation will not be taken into consideration. However, with this motivation your application will receive our full attention. 

Online screening may be part of the selection.

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