Scientific Internship: Unravelling the fundamental puzzle of friction with application to industrial nanolithography

Date posted July 15, 2019
Type Scientific internships

At the Advanced Research Center for Nanolithography (ARCNL) we carry out exciting fundamental physics at the highest possible level with relevance to key technologies in nanolithography. We contribute to the production of ever smarter and smaller electronics, while at the same time pushing the boundaries of our fundamental insight into the workings of nature.

The research field of tribology, devoted to contact formation, friction and wear phenomena down to the atomic scale, is of direct and pressing relevance to the manufacture of semiconductor devices. Friction-induced stresses and deformations on the scale of only a few atomic spacings are starting to challenge the future of nanolithography technology, limiting the achievable feature size in semiconductor chips. In this PhD project, you will use a combination of advanced and novel experimental techniques to unravel how contacts form between surfaces, how the contact conditions change over time, and how this contributes to variations in friction forces and wear. In addition to this program of refined experiments, we will pursue a variety of approaches to actively control the contact dynamics and the interfacial forces. More details can be found in the reference below.

You will be embedded in the Contact Dynamics team at ARCNL but will also be closely associated with the University of Amsterdam and ASML, the world leading manufacturer of high tech lithography machines for chip making.

1 Suhina, T., Weber, B., Carpentier, C.E., Lorincz, K., Schall, P., Bonn, D., Brouwer, A.M. Fluorescence microscopy visualization of contacts between objects. Angewandte Chemie-International Edition 54, 3688-3691 (2015)

About the group

The research activities of the Contact Dynamics group aim at investigating and providing fundamental understanding of the mechanisms underpinning friction, friction changes over time and friction variability, as affected by wear phenomena, at forces, scales and other preconditions relevant to present and future nanolithography technology. This includes the generation and dynamic behaviour of wear particles and their influence on the subsequent wear and friction, and the study of the mechanics of contacts at multi-asperity level.


You have a Bachelors degree in physics or a related field and participate in a Master study. The internship must be a mandatory part of your curriculum. You have a nationality of an EU-member state and/or you are a student at a Netherlands University. You must be available for at least 6 months.

Terms of employment

At the start of the traineeship your trainee plan will be set out, in consultation with your ARCNL supervisor, including a small allowance.

Contact info

Prof. Steve Franklin
Group leader Contact Dynamics
Phone: +31 (0)6 1509 3396


Dr. Bart Weber
Postdoctoral Researcher Contact Dynamics
Phone: +31 (0)20 851 7100

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