Postdoc: Photoemission for Nanolithography

Date posted March 1, 2019
Type Postdoc positions

You will study the surface properties of state-of-the-art materials for extreme ultraviolet (EUV) nanolithography applications and their interactions with challenging environments. Using in-situ near-ambient pressure x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (NAP-XPS), complemented by imaging and diffraction techniques, you will investigate the mechanisms underlying adsorption and surface reaction processes as well as the role of surface structure and composition.
In EUV lithography, highly sensitive surfaces of components such as Bragg-reflecting multilayer mirrors and lithography masks are exposed to a combination of reactive gas atmosphere, ionizing radiation, and photoelectrons, resulting in a wide variety of surface modifications, several of which remain poorly understood. Embedded in the interdisciplinary and collaborative research environment of the Advanced Research Center for Nanolithography (ARCNL), you will explore the role of surface composition, layer thickness, structure, and defects in the stability and long-term performance of surfaces for EUV lithography and identify critical pathways of degradation. Semiconductor and metal surfaces will be exposed to environments close to operation conditions, combining reactive gases such as hydrogen and high-intensity ionizing EUV radiation. You will utilize the group’s NAP-XPS setup and a custom-made EUV light source, and have access to scanning probe microscopy facilities at ARCNL, as well as to state-of-the-art diffraction and electron microscopy facilities at the University of Amsterdam and at AMOLF. In addition to surface analysis, you will be involved in the growth of thin films using multiple techniques such as sputter deposition, electron-beam evaporation, and pulsed laser deposition within the group and in collaborations. Moreover, you will collaborate with other scientists at ARCNL and with researchers from the semiconductor equipment manufacturer ASML on the development, growth, and comprehensive characterization of new materials.

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 Vrije Universiteit (VU) Amsterdam and the semiconductor equipment manufacturer ASML. ARCNL is located at the Science Park Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

The group for Materials and Surface Science for EUV Lithography investigates the elementary physical and chemical processes occurring at surfaces and interfaces relevant to EUV nanolithography and explores new materials and structures promising improved performance. Its core technique, in-situ photoelectron spectroscopy, provides insights into the evolution of surfaces in reactive atmospheres and during irradiation with EUV light, for example the formation of surface phases, dewetting, precipitation, or intermixing at interfaces. Identifying the mechanistic details of surface processes in realistic atmospheres not only enhances the fundamental understanding of surfaces in EUV lithography and their degradation, but also provides a guideline for the development of future stable high-performance materials.


You have a PhD in physics, physical chemistry, or materials science with a background in surface analysis and/or spectroscopy, and experience with ultra-high vacuum equipment. Experience with thin-film growth and characterization as well as in-situ surface analysis techniques is considered an advantage.
Good verbal and written communication skills (in English) are required.

Terms of employment

The position is intended as full-time (40 hrs / week, 12 months / year) appointment in the service of the Netherlands Foundation for Scientific Research Institutes (NWO-I) the duration of 2 years. Do you come from abroad? ARCNL will assist you with VISA applications and compensate your transport costs and furnishing expenses.

Contact info

dr. Roland Bliem
Group leader Materials and Surface Science for EUV Lithography
Phone: +31 (0)20-754 7100

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