PhD: Fano4nano - Fano resonance enhanced scatterometry for wafer metrology

PhD: Fano4nano - Fano resonance enhanced scatterometry for wafer metrology

Published Deadline Location
7 May 31 May Amsterdam

Job description

Work Activities
Are you looking for a challenging project in which you develop fundamental advances in metaphotonics and work with high-tech industry to apply them? In this project we aim to develop nanophotonic structures for application in high-precision semiconductor metrology, guided by design principles from the field of optical metasurfaces. The tremendous success of the semiconductor industry is enabled by highly advanced optical nanolithography. Hand in hand, optical methods for metrology and inspection must keep improving in order to meet the demands of quality control at ever decreasing dimensions. In current wafer metrology, wafers are inspected at visible wavelengths using dedicated grating patterns that reveal fine positional and dimensional information in their scattering spectrum. The strong desire from the semiconductor industry to reduce critical dimension and target size, drives metrology research to exploit the complex behaviour of light in structures at subwavelength scale.

We aim to develop a completely new class of metrology targets, based on novel nanophotonic scattering patterns taken from the optical metasurface community. Examples of such patterns are Fano-resonant metasurfaces that can provide responses in spectrum, polarization and diffraction with a very strong dependency on geometry. The challenge in this project is how to systematically design Fano-resonant metasurfaces that answer to the boundary conditions of semiconductor metrology.

We are seeking two PhD students, targeting this problem from two complementary perspectives:
  1. Your focus is on developing global model-based optimization techniques that you combine with a state-of-the-art electromagnetic solver, and you will show how these can be used to find optimal, sensitive and robust designs, within the constraints on material and geometry posed by the metrology application and inspired by the mechanistic understanding from PhD 2.
  2. Why are certain Fano-resonant motifs better at transducing geometrical variations than others, and what are the best read out schemes for metrology ? Your focus is on developing mechanistic understanding, using modal analysis and developing perturbation theory for metrology which can aid global optimization methods.

While the work will mainly focus on theory and simulation, for both projects promising Fano-resonant metasurfaces will be manufactured and measured. In project 1 you will demonstrate the limits of performance of select designs in close collaboration with ASML, while in project 2 you will demonstrate salient mechanisms in optical experiments at AMOLF performed with help of a research technician.

The research is part of an industry co-funded project, and will be done in close collaboration with ASML. We target both academic and applied breakthroughs.

We are looking for enthusiastic, talented candidates with an MSc or equivalent degree in physics or a strongly related field. A background in optics and nanophotonics, diffraction or microscopy based methods, and/or computational imaging is a clear advantage. Affinity for solving mathematical problems, large-scale optimization techniques, and working as part of a team are considered important. In the second phase of the projects, we will also perform optical experiments, on nanostructured samples. The project’s results will be presented at national and international conferences and in relevant journals. Candidates should be able to communicate in English. The successful candidates are expected to write a PhD thesis towards the end of the 4-year project, which will be defended at a dutch university. You will need to meet the requirements for an MSc-degree, to ensure eligibility for a Dutch PhD examination.

Work environment
AMOLF is a part of NWO-I and initiate and performs leading fundamental research on the physics of complex forms of matter, and to create new functional materials, in partnership with academia and industry. The institute is located at Amsterdam Science Park and currently employs about 140 researchers and 80 support employees.

About the group
This is a collaborative project between the Resonant Nanophotonics group at AMOLF, headed by Prof. Dr. Femius Koenderink and Prof. Dr. Irwan Setija at TU/e (PSN group). The research activities in the Resonant Nanophotonics group at AMOLF aim at developing nanoscale photonic structures, such as plasmonics and metasurfaces, to control scattering, emission, amplification and detection of light. The group spans the entire research cycle from developing advanced nanophotonics concepts using state of the art theory and numerical design, to nanofabrication of designed structures in the Amsterdam NanoLab cleanroom at AMOLF, and the development of state of the art optical scatterometry and microscopy methods. Prof. Setija is a principal scientist at ASML Research and part-time professor at the Technical University Eindhoven in semiconductor metrology and sensing, and particularly in electromagnetic theory, developing numerical methods, large-scale optimization, and electromagnetic design.

Both researchers will be employed by, and stationed at, AMOLF in the group of Koenderink. For position (1) we expect that the candidate is at TU/e circa two days a week, to work with Prof. Setija.

AMOLF performs leading research on the fundamental physics and design principles of natural and man-made complex matter, with research in the disciplines nanophotonics, nanophotovoltaics, chemistry & spectroscopy, mechanical metamaterials and biophysics. AMOLF leverages these insights to create novel functional materials, and to find solutions to societal challenges in renewable energy, health care, and green ICT. AMOLF is one of the NWO-I national research institutes located at the Amsterdam Science Park, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. It has approximately 150 scientist and a total size of ca. 250 employees. Furthermore it hosts the Amsterdam NanolabNL clean room, which is part of the national NanoLabNL cleanroom network. See also

Working conditions
  • The working atmosphere at the institute is largely determined by young, enthusiastic, mostly foreign employees. Communication is informal and runs through short lines of communication.
  • 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
  • The starting salary is 2.781 Euro’s gross per month and a range of employment benefits.
  • After successful completion of the PhD research a PhD degree will be granted at a Dutch University.
  • Several courses are offered, specially developed for PhD-students.
  • AMOLF assists any new foreign PhD-student with housing and visa applications and compensates their transport costs and furnishing expenses.

More information?
For further information about the position, please contact Prof.dr. Femius Koenderink

Prof.dr. Femius Koenderink
Group leader Resonant Nanophotonics
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.

You can respond to this vacancy online via the button below.

Online screening may be part of the selection.

Diversity code
AMOLF is highly committed to an inclusive and diverse work environment: we want to develop talent and creativity by bringing together people from different backgrounds and cultures. We recruit and select on the basis of competencies and talents. We strongly encourage anyone with the right qualifications to apply for the vacancy, regardless of age, gender, origin, sexual orientation or physical ability.

AMOLF has won the NNV Diversity Award 2022, which is awarded every two years by the Netherlands Physical Society for demonstrating the most successful implementation of equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI).

Commercial activities in response to this ad are not appreciated.




  • PhD
  • Natural sciences
  • 32—40 hours per week
  • max. €2781 per month
  • Doctorate
  • 3339


Science Park 104, 1098XG, Amsterdam

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Application procedure

Application procedure

Make sure to apply no later than 31 May 2024 23:59 (Europe/Amsterdam).