Advanced Research Center for Nanolithography ARCNL

PhD-student: Ultrafast soft-X-ray spectroscopy and imaging of semiconductor nanostructures

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The High-harmonic generation and EUV science group and EUV Generation and Imaging group at ARCNL, Amsterdam, have an opening for a joint four-year PhD student position.

In this project you will contribute to our ongoing investigations to develop new ultrafast femtosecond to attosecond time-scale semiconductor spectroscopy, imaging and metrology techniques in the soft-X-ray spectral range. This includes developing soft-X-ray spectroscopic scatterometry to determine the thickness of various nanometer-sized layers in multilayer semiconductor structures, developing soft-X-ray imaging methods for non-periodic structures, and develop ultrafast metrology to characterize electrical contacts between different layers in a non-contact way. First experiments will be carried out in semiconductor nanostructures that resemble present-day integrated circuits. Your research will thus contribute to bringing the fundamental fields of attosecond science and high-harmonic generation in contact with industrial applications to measure nanoscale structures. Furthermore, the developed techniques can be used in the future to study dynamics and phase transitions in strongly correlated materials, which exhibit both ultrafast dynamics and nanoscale morphologies.

To realize these ambitions, you will have access to and help finalize a table-top setup to generate soft-X-ray pulses (2-10 nm wavelength) from high-harmonic generation with a unique high-power, multi-mJ, 50-kHz mid-infrared optical-parametric amplifier. In addition, the group is equipped with commercial Ti:Sa laser systems, that allow similar experiments in the extreme-ultraviolet (10-100 nm) spectral range.

Ultimately, the goal is to connect spectroscopic transient absorption and reflection measurements with scatterometry and coherent diffraction techniques, in order to enable all-optical attosecond imaging with nanometer-spatial resolution and element specificity.

About the group

The High-harmonic generation and EUV science groups develops and utilizes new high-harmonic generation based extreme ultraviolet and soft-X-ray sources in the energy range from 10 – 600 eV for spectroscopy and metrology applications. Specific areas of interest are attosecond and femtosecond time-resolved spectroscopy of complex chemical and solid-state dynamics, new strategies for efficient high-harmonic generation, as well as new routes for nanometer-scale imaging of semiconductor structures. Novel types of attosecond and femtosecond transient absorption and reflection spectroscopies, as well as scattering techniques, are developed, and applied to fundamental question with particular relevance to nanolithography.

The group is equipped with Ti:Sa (Titanium:Sapphire) lasers for high-harmonic generation. In addition, a unique 50 kHz, multi-mJ optical-parametric chirped-pulse amplifier system (OPCPA) has recently been completed and can be made available to this project.

The EUV Generation and Imaging group at ARCNL focuses on the development and application of advanced lensless and computational imaging technology, using radiation ranging from visible light down to soft-X-ray wavelengths, 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.

The groups house state-of-the-art lab facilities at the Advanced Research Center for Nanolithography (ARCNL). 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 Dutch Research Council (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, The Netherlands, and is currently housing about 100 scientists and support staff. We offer a dynamic and open environment, and aim to provide the optimum conditions for young scientists to do exciting research leading to high-impact results, which focus on fundamental physics and chemistry challenges, and might also have direct technological relevance.


You will need to meet the requirements for an MSc-degree, to ensure eligibility for a Dutch PhD examination. A degree in physics, physical chemistry, electrical engineering, or a closely related subject is the best fit for this project. You enjoy performing experiments and analysis to stepwise build a deeper understanding of complex physical mechanisms. Experience in one or more of the involved topics (high-harmonic generation, ultrafast lasers and optics, vacuum instrumentation, attosecond and femtosecond science, EUV and X-Ray spectroscopy and scattering, optical imaging), in particular experimentally but also theoretically, is advantageous.

Very good verbal and written communications 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 four years, with a starting salary of gross € 2,441 per month and a range of employment benefits. After successful completion of the PhD research a PhD degree will be granted at the Vrije Universiteit (VU) Amsterdam. Several courses are offered, specially developed for PhD-students. ARCNL assists any new foreign PhD-student with housing and visa applications and compensates their transport costs and furnishing expenses.

A favorable tax agreement, the ‘30% ruling’, may apply to non-Dutch applicants.

Contact info

Peter Kraus

Group leader (High-harmonic generation and EUV science)

Assistant Professor of Physics at Vrije Universiteit (VU) Amsterdam

E-mail: p.kraus@arcnl.nl

Phone: +31 (0)20-851 7100


Stefan Witte

Group leader (EUV Generation and Imaging)

Associate Professor of Physics at Vrije Universiteit (VU) Amsterdam

E-mail: s.witte@arcnl.nl

Phone: +31 (0)20-851 7110


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. on.


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.

Commercial activities in response to this ad are not appreciated.

Informatie over de vacature

PhD-student: Ultrafast soft-X-ray spectroscopy and imaging of semiconductor nanostructures
Science Park 106, Nederland
Uiterste sollicitatiedatum
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