PhD position Simulation of Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) images of semiconductor devices

PhD position Simulation of Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) images of semiconductor devices

Published Deadline Location
8 Feb 15 Apr Delft

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Will your model close the gap between experimental and simulated SEM images?

Job description

Semiconductor devices continue to get smaller, contain more materials and have increasingly complex geometries. To ensure that the semiconductor device production yields remain high, the accuracy of all metrology methods as are used for process control must be disruptively improved. Metrology with a Scanning electron microscope (SEM) plays a crucial role for process control, and improving the interpretability of SEM signals is essential for further development of the semiconductor industry. Accurate modeling of the beam-sample interaction for real device geometries has to bring the required new insights.

The Delft university of technology developed Nebula, an open source electron scattering simulator, which can simulate scanning electron microscopy (SEM) images. Nebula is used within ASML to obtain a better understanding of SEM signal formation. While Nebula (re)produces experimentally observed trends in SEM imaging qualitatively, an accuracy gap remains between simulated and real SEM images.

The main goal of the project is to improve the accuracy of Nebula by e.g., including charging effects, improve the physical models for low energy.

The project is a collaboration between Delft university of technology and ASML.

The PhD candidate will work at the Delft university of technology mainly. It is expected that, at least once every two weeks during regular working weeks, the PhD candidate will work from an ASML office in Veldhoven / Eindhoven and engage in various discussions.


Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)


The job requires a master degree in Physics, Computer science or Electrical engineering

We are looking for a motivated PhD candidate with the following expertise:

  • Experience and affinity with performing and analyzing scientific simulations
  • Programming skills in C++ and Python
  • Good command of the English language – oral and written
  • Experience with electron-matter interaction, condensed matter physics and/or electron beam imaging is highly appreciated

Doing a PhD at TU Delft requires English proficiency at a certain level to ensure that the candidate is able to communicate and interact well, participate in English-taught Doctoral Education courses, and write scientific articles and a final thesis. For more details please check the nl/onderwijs/opleidingen/phd/admission">Graduate Schools Admission Requirements.

Conditions of employment

Doctoral candidates will be offered a 4-year period of employment in principle, but in the form of 2 employment contracts. An initial 1,5 year contract with an official go/no go progress assessment within 15 months. Followed by an additional contract for the remaining 2,5 years assuming everything goes well and performance requirements are met.

Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities, increasing from € 2541 per month in the first year to € 3247 in the fourth year. As a PhD candidate you will be enrolled in the TU Delft Graduate School. The TU Delft Graduate School provides an inspiring research environment with an excellent team of supervisors, academic staff and a mentor. The Doctoral Education Programme is aimed at developing your transferable, discipline-related and research skills.

The TU Delft offers a customisable compensation package, discounts on health insurance and sport memberships, and a monthly work costs contribution. Flexible work schedules can be arranged. For international applicants we offer the Coming to Delft Service and Partner Career Adviceto assist you with your relocation.


Delft University of Technology

Delft University of Technology is built on strong foundations. As creators of the world-famous Dutch waterworks and pioneers in biotech, TU Delft is a top international university combining science, engineering and design. It delivers world class results in education, research and innovation to address challenges in the areas of energy, climate, mobility, health and digital society. For generations, our engineers have proven to be entrepreneurial problem-solvers, both in business and in a social context.

At TU Delft we embrace diversity as one of our core values and we actively engage to be a university where you feel at home and can flourish. We value different perspectives and qualities. We believe this makes our work more innovative, the TU Delft community more vibrant and the world more just. Together, we imagine, invent and create solutions using technology to have a positive impact on a global scale. That is why we invite you to apply. Your application will receive fair consideration.

Challenge. Change. Impact!


Faculty Applied Sciences

With more than 1,000 employees, including 135 pioneering principal investigators, as well as a population of about 3,400 passionate students, the Faculty of Applied Sciences is an inspiring scientific ecosystem. Focusing on key enabling technologies, such as quantum- and nanotechnology, photonics, biotechnology, synthetic biology and materials for energy storage and conversion, our faculty aims to provide solutions to important problems of the 21st century. To that end, we train students in broad Bachelor's and specialist Master's programmes with a strong research component. Our scientists conduct ground-breaking fundamental and applied research in the fields of Life and Health Science & Technology, Nanoscience, Chemical Engineering, Radiation Science & Technology, and Engineering Physics. We are also training the next generation of high school teachers and science communicators.

Click here to go to the website of the Faculty of Applied Sciences.


  • PhD
  • Health
  • €2541—€3247 per month
  • University graduate
  • TUD03414


Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)

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Mekelweg 2, 2628 CD, Delft

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