PhD on MEMS materials in EUV-induced plasma (MIEP)

PhD on MEMS materials in EUV-induced plasma (MIEP)

Published Deadline Location
24 Dec 5 Feb Eindhoven

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Job description

Are you eager to work on fundamental plasma physical problems that find direct application in the high tech industry? In this project you will dive in the elementary processes that determine the interaction between small surfaces of micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) and ionized media to solve contamination issues in ultraclean semiconductor manufacturing equipment for the future. In the project 'MEMS materials in EUV-induced plasma (MIEP)' funded by Holland High Tech and the company ASML we have a PhD vacancy which is experimentally oriented. Are you the one to join our team?

Micro scanning mirrors are tiny devices used for dynamic light modulation for numerous applications, such as fast optical switches (telecommunications), LIDAR sensors (automotive), and in vivo diagnostics (healthcare). Application of arrays of such devices in Extreme Ultraviolet Lithography (EUV) tools would bring obvious benefits in performance, yield and accuracy, increasing productivity and lowering cost. However, all the optical elements in the EUV scanner are exposed to EUV and EUV-induced hydrogen plasma, which is a very aggressive environment. The materials used to fabricate micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) must be able to remain functional in this complex environment of electrically and chemically active components and strong electric fields. They are also not allowed to contaminate the plasma, which would lead to deterioration of mirror surfaces and thereby to reduction of lifetime and availability. Thorough fundamental understanding of the interaction between EUV- induced plasma and MEMS materials is needed to assess the feasibility of using these promising devices in a realistic scanner environment.

From utilization point of view, immediate application of the research results in EUV Lithography and the development of novel mitigation strategies for nano contamination are important. As a PhD student in this project, you will perform in-depth (experimental) research which leads - through analytical modeling efforts - to enhanced understanding of the above ecosystems. At the same time, you act as bridge between the university and stakeholders from the involved company and other institutions. This means, that your research is fundamentally oriented while you always have in mind the application of your results in the relevant high tech environments.

The PhD position is fully embedded in the CIMlabs group in the department of Applied Physics of the Eindhoven University of Technology. However, candidates are expected to spend considerable time at the company as well in order to sense applicational oriented challenges and transfer knowledge. This gives you the chance to experience both: academia and industry. Besides research you will also contribute to education within the department. Apart from supervising BSc and MSc students in their research projects, other assistance in education, e. g. in bachelor courses, is usually limited to around 5% of your contract time. NOTE: For candidates with specific interest in teaching and education there is the option for a 5- year PhD studentship. Teaching and education will be substantial during this full PhD project, with a total amount of extra time equivalent to a full contract year. Please express your interest to the vacancy holder/supervisor in charge.


Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e)


  • A master's degree in physics.
  • Affinity with plasma physics.
  • A research oriented attitude. An application oriented attitude.
  • Ability to work in a team and interested in collaborating with the industrial partners.
  • Perfect social and communicative skills.
  • Fluent in spoken and written English.

Conditions of employment

A meaningful job in a dynamic and ambitious university, in an interdisciplinary setting and within an international network. You will work on a beautiful, green campus within walking distance of the central train station. In addition, we offer you:
  • Full-time employment for four years, with an intermediate evaluation (go/no-go) after nine months. You will spend 10% of your employment on teaching tasks.
  • Salary and benefits (such as a pension scheme, paid pregnancy and maternity leave, partially paid parental leave) in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities.
  • A year-end bonus of 8.3% and annual vacation pay of 8%.
  • High-quality training programs and other support to grow into a self-aware, autonomous scientific researcher. At TU/e we challenge you to take charge of your own learning process.
  • An excellent technical infrastructure, on-campus children's day care and sports facilities.
  • An allowance for commuting, working from home and internet costs.
  • A Staff Immigration Team and a tax compensation scheme (the 30% facility) for international candidates.


  • PhD
  • Engineering
  • max. 38 hours per week
  • University graduate
  • V34.6192


Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e)

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De Rondom 70, 5612 AP, Eindhoven

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