2 PhD Positions - Lensless Imaging of 3D Nanostructures with soft X-rays

Research / Academic

NWO-TTW has granted a Research Program on “Lensless Imaging of 3D Nanostructures with soft X-rays” (LINX) to an Academic Consortium comprising 5 Dutch universities, which are: the Delft University of Technology, Utrecht University, the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, the University of Twente, and the Eindhoven University of Technology. The LINX program was kicked-off at the end of 2018. LINX brings together leading dutch expertise in high-harmonic  soft-X ray (SXR) sources, SXR imaging and metrology, the physics of scattering, light propagation and electro-magnetism, computational research on algorithm development for ptychography, on coherent diffractive imaging and on imaging physics in general. On top of that, LINX benefits from a direct involvement of the industry, with ASML being a strong representative in the area of lithography and related wafer metrology, and with PANalytical a technology leader in X-ray analytical instrumentation.The LINX program is built upon 5 projects, each of which will provide a specific key piece of its overall technology puzzle. As a result, the program needs a very intense collaboration between the different academic institutes aiming at strong synergy and cross-fertilization. For the program as a whole, there are 5 PhD-positions (with 2 at TU Delft) and 4 Post-Doc positions (with one 3-year Post-Doc position at TU Delft).  In the semicon industry, the shrinking dimensions and increasing 3D complexity of IC architectures necessitate well-controlled manufacturing with dedicated metrology at high lateral resolution and appropriate penetration depth. The limitations of current approaches such as SEM and optical metrology will be overcome by SXR metrology with wavelengths of 10-30 nm using lensless imaging, also known as ptychography, which computes a 3D “image” from a diversity of far-field diffraction patterns. Some of the proposed innovations of LINX are: (1) tailoring the characteristics of high-harmonic (HHG) SXR sources to ptychography; and (2) sub-wavelength ptychography using prior information. The program directly taps into the strengths of high-tech industry, enhances the knowledge infrastructure, develops new networks of expertise, and educates a new generation of highly skilled professionals.    


For the two LINX PhD-positions at TU Delft, the Optics group at the Imaging Physics department is looking for candidates that have been trained as physicist or engineer. Though both PhD positions have a balance of experimental and theoretical work, one position will be more oriented to experimental research and the other position will be more focused on theoretical research. Expertise in optics and non-linear laser physics is advisable, and know-how of light scattering and diffraction is a clear bonus. We expect candidates to be proficient in English and to have good professional communication and team working skills, and to enjoy interdisciplinary collaborations with scientists from high-tech industry. 


We are looking for talented, enthusiastic PhD candidates who meet the following requirements:


  • A MSc in physics or a related discipline with a strong background in optical physics;
  • Experience with Matlab/Python or Comsol;
  • Creative, pro-active team player with good analytical skills;
  • Good communication skills in English, both written and oral.

Salary Benefits:

TU Delft offers a customisable compensation package, a discount for health insurance and sport memberships, and a monthly work costs contribution. Flexible work schedules can be arranged. An International Children’s Centre offers childcare and an international primary school. Dual Career Services offers support to accompanying partners. Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities.

As a PhD candidate you will be enrolled in the TU Delft Graduate School. TU Delft Graduate School provides an inspiring research environment; an excellent team of supervisors, academic staff and a mentor; and a Doctoral Education Programme aimed at developing your transferable, discipline-related and research skills. Please visit for more information.

Work Hours:

38 hours per week


Lorentzweg 1