Postdoc: Interaction of low-energy electrons with hybrid thin films

Date posted August 24, 2017
Type Postdoc positions

ARCNL has a job opening for a post-doctoral researcher for the study of Interaction of low-energy electrons with thin films made of hybrid materials. These materials are composed of molecules with inorganic cores and organic groups, which are considered for use as photoresists in extreme ultraviolet photolithography. The project is a collaboration of the EUV Photoresists and Nanophotochemistry groups of ARCNL and the Quantum Matter and Optics group, Leiden Institute of Physics.

As the IT revolution unfolds, the demand for smaller features in electronic components continues to push the limits of science and technology. In order to control the fabrication of circuits in sub 20 nm dimensions, fundamental science questions need to be answered. Extreme Ultraviolet lithography successfully pushes down the optical resolution limits by using shorter wavelengths of light (13.5 nm). This short wavelength light induces quite complex and as yet unpredictable chemistry in the photoresists materials that are used to transfer the optical image to the Si-wafer. As a matter of fact, most of the chemical changes that yield the patterns are due to the photoelectrons liberated upon absorption of the high-energy photons (92 eV). What remains unknown is how electrons in this so called low-energy regime (below 90 eV) interact with soft matter. Such knowledge is crucial for the future progress of nanolithography and thus for the semiconductor industry.
In this project, this fundamental question will be addressed using the Low Energy Electron Microscope (LEEM) at Leiden University. The post-doc will conduct pioneering studies on the response of thin films of various materials (provided by the ARCNL research groups) to electrons with controlled energy and dose with this distinctive technique. Optical and scanning probe microscopy techniques will be used to evaluate the physical changes to the film surfaces. Other surface analytical methods will be applied to obtain information on the chemical changes of the areas exposed to the electron beams.

About the group

The EUV Photoresists and Nanophotochemistry groups (group leaders Sonia Castellanos Ortega and Fred Brouwer) are focused on the design, synthesis and reactivity studies of materials for application as extreme ultraviolet photoresists.
An important part of the experimental work in this project will be carried out at Leiden University in the group of Ruud Tromp and Sense Jan van der Molen. Click here for more information.

The Advanced Research Center for Nanolithography (ARCNL) focuses on the fundamental physics involved in current and future key technologies in nanolithography, primarily for the semiconductor industry. ARCNL is a public-private partnership between the Netherlands Foundation of Scientific Research Institutes (NWO-I), 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 have a PhD in experimental physics or physical chemistry and have experience with electron spectroscopy, thin film preparation techniques, atomic force microscopy, (or similar subjects relevant for this position). Preferably, you have experience with LEEM. Good verbal and written communication skills (in English) are essential.

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 18 months. ARCNL assists any postdoc with housing and visa applications and compensates their transport costs.

Contact info

Prof.dr. Fred Brouwer
Group leader Nanophotochemstry
Phone: +31 (0)20-851 8115

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