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PhD Research positions "Thin-film physics of radiation-hard membranes"

Research / Academic
Enschede
Are you interested in research on free-standing thin films of only few tens of nanometer thickness, which still need to be fully radiation-hard?

Challenge

We are looking for a motivated and skilled PhD researcher to work on the physical and chemical processes of such films. These transparent membranes are used as protective “pellicles” in EUV photolithography, where they are placed just above the sensitive photomask to prevent photomask contamination by particles. The membranes need to resist not only thermo-mechanical stresses, but also surface degradation by photon induced chemical reactions, bombardment by low energetic ions, and chemical etching by radicals. The aim of the project is to develop fundamental knowledge on the film degradation mechanisms and find materials and processes that can mediate the pellicle damage. 

The PhD research will focus on experiments that isolate specific damage mechanisms, such as low energy ion bombardment, and investigate the relation between experimental conditions and surface modification like implantation, sputtering, densification. It is expected that such relationships are benchmarked against semi-empirical models that predict the damage from the basic physics processes involved, under varying experimental conditions.

Your tasks will be to design and plan the experiments that lead to a better understanding of the pellicle damage mechanisms. You will fabricate samples using a variety of deposition and cleanroom processing techniques, with high precision analysis of the sample surface composition and structure, before and after degradation experiments. You will utilize and, where needed improve, setups for exposing pellicle and pellicle-like surfaces to ions, radicals and heat. You will construct semi-analytical models to explain the observed surface modifications and test such models against exposure conditions.

The project will be carried out in the Industrial Focus Group XUV Optics where a new multidisciplinary research programme on thin film optical devices has started. The group develops forefront fundamental research, relevant to high tech applications (www.utwente.nl/xuv/). The research will take place in a state-of-the-art thin film laboratory within the MESA+ Institute for Nanotechnology at the University of Twente, in collaboration with various industrial partners.

Requirements:

  • You have a Masters degree in solid state or plasma-surface physics, materials science or a related field.
  • You have experience with plasma, thin film deposition and thin film analysis setups.
  • You have affinity with the realization of physical or chemical depositions of nanoscale thin films (MEMS, CMOS or related) and their optical, structural, and mechanical analysis.
  • You are an excellent team player in an enthusiastic group of scientists and engineers working on a common theme.
  • You are creative, like to push boundaries, and are highly motivated to address a major science challenge in thin film physics.
  • You are fluent in English and able to collaborate intensively with industrial and academic parties in regular meetings and work visits.


INFORMATION AND APPLICATION

Your reaction should include an application/motivation letter, emphasizing your specific interest and motivation, a detailed CV, a publication list, contact details of referees, and an academic transcript of B.Sc. and M.Sc. education. An interview and a scientific presentation will be part of the selection procedure. For more information about the position, you are encouraged to contact Dr. Robbert van de Kruijs at r.w.e.vandekruijs@utwente.nl.

Salary Benefits:

You will be appointed on a fulltime position for four years. The position is available immediately. The university offers a dynamic ecosystem with enthusiastic colleagues in a stimulating scientific environment. The PhD salary is € 2.325 in the first year, increasing to € 2.972 in the fourth year. The offer further involves a holiday allowance of 8% of the gross annual salary and a year-end bonus of 8.3%, a solid pension scheme, a minimum of 29 holidays, and numerous professional and personal development programmes.

Work Hours:

38 hours per week

Address:

Drienerlolaan 5