Postdoctoral project at ARCNL: Characterizing 3D nanostructures with ultrafast-laser-produced ultrasound

Date posted June 7, 2021
Type Postdoc positions

As a postdoc you will develop new methods for high-resolution imaging and metrology, using ultrasound waves produced by ultrafast laser pulses. You will then use these methods to detect and image nanostructures inside semiconductor devices, with the aim of advancing semiconductor manufacturing technology.

Research / Job description

The ability to look through opaque materials is an intriguing concept, with many potential applications in science and technology. While a layer of opaque material by definition does not transmit light, in various cases other types of waves can penetrate through it. One example of such a wave is ultrasound, which is well-known and used for e.g. looking inside tissue.

In this project we will use photo-acoustics, i.e. high-frequency ultrasound waves produced by femtosecond laser pulses, to ‘look’ through opaque media and detect buried nanostructures inside metal and semiconductor devices. As modern integrated circuits are often complex 3D architectures, there is an urgent need for accurate imaging and metrology tools that can deal with opaque structures. At ARCNL we have developed a femtosecond multi-color pump-probe setup for photo-acoustics experiments, as well as advanced modelling codes for light-matter interaction and acoustic wave propagation to support the experiments.

As a postdoc, you will further develop the experimental capabilities, perform experiments on nanostructures, and work on simulations with the available codes. In particular, we aim to set up rapid pump-probe scanning based on asynchronous optical sampling and expand the probe wavelength range to cover the full visible and near-infrared range. A major focus for the experiments will be to maximize sensitivity and contrast of photo-acoustic imaging and metrology. The final objective of the project is to apply these novel methods for high-precision metrology on semiconductor devices.

You will perform this project together with a team of two PhD students in the EUV Generation and Imaging group, and collaborate with researchers from the various other research groups at ARCNL. This position is funded through the TTW HTSM project ORPHEUS, a collaboration between ARCNL and the semiconductor company ASML.

About the group

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 in The Netherlands and currently houses approximately 90 scientists and support staff.

The EUV Generation and Imaging group at ARCNL focuses on the development and application of advanced imaging technology, computational imaging, laser development and ultrafast optics, 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.


Required qualifications

You have a PhD-degree in Physics or Technical/Applied Physics (or a similar subject), with experience in ultrafast optics, photo-acoustics, ultrafast spectroscopy, nanophotonics and/or numerical modelling of light-matter interaction. Affinity for working with laser systems, optical experiments, programming, and working as part of a team are considered important. 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 2.5 years, with a salary in scale 10 (CAO-OI) and a range of employment benefits. ARCNL assists any new foreign Postdoc with housing and visa applications and compensates their transport costs and furnishing expenses.

Contact info

Dr. Stefan Witte
Group leader EUV Generation and Imaging
Phone: +31 (0)20-754 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 entails 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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