Postdoc: EUV-Induced Deposition

Date posted September 16, 2020
Type Postdoc positions

As a postdoc, you will identify the mechanism by which the working conditions of modern EUV lithography machines lead to the contamination of the delicate optical surfaces in these machines, potentially lowering the amount of transmitted EUV light.

The most modern production of processor and memory chips is performed by means of lithography with extreme ultraviolet (EUV) light. EUV lithography machines employ reflective optical elements, mostly in the form of multilayer mirrors that act as Bragg reflectors. Under operating conditions for industrial lithography, involving significant intensities of EUV light, the surfaces of these delicate optical elements are found to exhibit the spontaneous accumulation of sub-nanometer amounts of materials; this might lead to absorption of part ofthe EUV intensity.

Your primary task will be to identify the source of this deposition and unravel the detailed EUV-induced mechanism by which the material is transported from one surface to another. Even though this project is inspired by a well-defined application, the research is fundamental in nature and is based on a rigorous, atomic-scale surface-science approach. You will make use of state-of-the-art research equipment in multiple laboratories, mostly within ARCNL. The project involves EUV-plasma exposure experiments, inspection with X-Ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy (XPS) and visualization of the atomistic details with Scanning Tunneling Microscopy (STM) for live imaging of the contamination process under idealized laboratory conditions. We hope that more control can be acquired over the deposition rate, based on the insights obtained in your study.

You will be stationed in the Nanolayers group of ARCNL and you will collaborate also closely with the members of the Materials and Surface Science for EUVL group and with scientists at ASML Research.

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 Amsterdam Science Park, The Netherlands, and is currently building up towards a size of approximately 100 scientists and support staff. See also

You will be embedded in the Nanolayers group at ARCNL and work in a close collaboration with the Materials and Surface Science for EUVL group. Both groups are part of ARCNL’s Materials Department and perform basic research into the structure, composition and the resulting physical and chemical behavior of surfaces, interfaces and thin films in the context of EUV lithography.


You have a PhD in physics or physical chemistry, with special emphasis on experimental surface science with an affinity for experiments and application-oriented challenges.

Good verbal and written communication skills (in English) are required.

Terms of employment

The position is intended as a full-time (40 hours a week) appointment in the service of the Netherlands Foundation of Scientific Research Institutes (NWO-I) for the duration of two years. 
A favorable tax agreement, the ‘30% ruling’, may apply to non-Dutch applicants. ARCNL assists any new foreign researchers with housing and visa applications and compensates their transport costs and furnishing expenses.

Contact info

Prof.dr. Joost Frenken
Head of the Nanolayers group
Phone: +31-20-8517100 (secr. 7203)

You can respond to this vacancy online via the button below.
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