PhD-student: Lensless 3D nano-imaging with soft-X-ray sources based on high-harmonic generation

Date posted February 12, 2020
Type PhD positions

The PhD student will develop new methods for high-resolution lensless microscopy with coherent soft-X-ray and extreme ultraviolet radiation, produced using a table-top laser-driven high-harmonic generation source.

You will work on the visualization of complex 3D nanostructures, and develop imaging and metrology tools that may become relevant for future semiconductor technology.

The ability to perform high-resolution imaging without the need for lenses provides exciting possibilities in science and technology. With lensless imaging, visualizing objects in phase and amplitude is performed by numerical reconstruction of an image from coherent diffraction patterns, which leads to completely new ways of optical imaging. This type of imaging enables the use of sources in wavelength ranges where high-quality imaging optics are challenging, such as the extreme-ultraviolet and soft-X-ray ranges.

As a PhD student, you will work with (and further develop) a coherent soft-X-ray source based on high-harmonic generation with an intense ultrafast laser system. You will use this source for the development of new 3D nano-imaging technology, and investigate methods for the detection and characterization of sub-wavelength nanostructures, using lensless imaging approaches such as coherent diffractive imaging methods and ptychography.

You will perform this project together a team of PhD students and postdocs in the EUV Generation and Imaging group, and collaborate with researchers from the various other research groups at ARCNL. This position is available as part of the LINX consortium, a national NWO-TTW-funded collaborative project involving research groups from ARCNL, Delft, Utrecht, Twente and Eindhoven, as well as several companies.

About the group

The Advanced Research Center for Nano-Lithography (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 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. See also

The EUV Generation and Imaging group at ARCNL focuses on the development and application of advanced lensless and computational imaging technology, using radiation ranging from visible light down to soft-X-ray wavelengths, with the aim to visualize and study micro- and nanoscale structures with unprecedented detail and contrast. Furthermore, we explore routes towards optimization of extreme ultraviolet light production from laser-produced plasmas, using advanced optical methods and ultrafast laser technology.


You have an MSc-degree in Physics, Technical Physics or Electrical Engineering (or a similar subject relevant for this position). A background in optics, (coherent) imaging and/or ultrafast laser physics is a clear advantage. Affinity for working with advanced laser systems, performing complex optical experiments, and working as part of a team are considered important. Good verbal and written communication skills (in English) are required.

Terms of employment

A PhD position is intended as full-time appointments in the service of VU University Amsterdam (VU) for the duration of four years (initially 12 months and – after positive evaluation – extended to four years). The appointment should lead to a dissertation (PhD thesis). A training & supervision plan will be drafted, including attendance of courses and (international) meetings. The PhD-student is also expected to assist in teaching undergraduates. The PhD salary will be in accordance with university regulations for academic personnel, and amounts € 2,125 gross per month in the first year up to € 2,717 in the fourth year (salary scale 85) based on a full-time employment.

As new foreign candidate you will be assisted with housing and visa applications and compensated for transport costs and furnishing expenses.

You can find information about VU excellent fringe benefits of employment at like:
– remuneration of 8,3% end-of-year bonus and 8% holiday allowance
– solid pension scheme (ABP);
– a minimum of 29 holidays in case of full-time employment.

Contact info

Dr. Stefan Witte
Group leader EUV Generation and Imaging
Phone: +31 (0)20-851 7100

You can respond to this vacancy online via the button below.
Please annex your:
–  Resume;
–  Motivation on why you want to join the group (max. 1 page).
It is important to us to know why you want to join our team. This means that we will only consider your application if it includes your motivation letter.

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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