Two PhD Positions Development of A Next-generation Focused Ion Beam Instrument

Eindhoven University of Technology, Netherlands is inviting excellent students to apply for a PhD position in semiconductors. The funds for this position are available for 4 years. Applicants should apply as soon as possible.

Focused Ion Beam (FIB) instruments are important tools for the semiconductor industry. Essential applications are editing circuits and repairing masks in the development phase, failure analysis during wafer processing, and preparing samples for inspection using transmission electron microscopy. As a result of the continuing reduction of feature sizes in semiconductor circuits, FIBs also face higher demands, in particular in terms of resolution and reduced damage. The Coherence and Quantum Technology research group has recently developed a unique rubidium ion beam that may overcome the limitations of existing FIBs. The essential innovation is the use of a new type of ion source that is based on photo-ionization of a laser-intensified and extremely cold atomic rubidium beam. To make this a viable next-generation instrument, it is equally necessary to demonstrate superior beam properties as well as to investigate suitability for essential applications.

In this project, the properties of the new instrument will be experimentally assessed and optimized with the eventual aim of creating a practically useful prototype instrument. Therefore the research will focus on attainable beam qualities, including 1 nm resolution in imaging and milling, achievable current, beam profile, energy range, stability, reliability and also user-friendliness. In addition, the interaction of rubidium ions with typical materials will be studied to investigate the essential suitability of a Rb+ FIB for real-world applications. To this end, sputter and deposition processes will be analyzed in terms of rates, staining, surface roughening, and other forms of damage. The research will be performed by two PhD candidates who will work closely together as a team but one will focus mainly on instrument development and the other mainly on materials science. The project is jointly funded by the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research and FEI Company (part of Thermo Fisher Scientific).

The work will be mostly performed in the Coherence and Quantum Technology group of the Department of Applied Physics on the campus of Eindhoven University of Technology. The research in the CQT group is centered on coherence in ensembles of atoms, ions, electrons and photons. We combine expertise from plasma physics, AMO physics and particle beam physics to investigate new areas and applications of these techniques, either to future technologies or to other areas in physics.

Considerable time will also be spent at the facilities of FEI Netherlands in Eindhoven where for instance part of the sample analysis and FIB training will take place. Work visits to FEI Corporate Headquarters in Hillsboro, USA can also be expected. Literature J.J. McClelland et al, Appl. Phys. Rev. 3, 011302 (2016)

G. ten Haaf et al, Phys. Rev. Applied 7, 054013 (2017) G. ten Haaf et al, Phys. Rev. A 96, 053412 (2017) G. ten Haaf et al, Ultramicroscopy 190, 12 (2018) For both PhD positions, we are looking for talented and motivated candidates with a Master degree in experimental Physics, Chemistry or a related field. A background in atomic and optical physics, charged particle beams/microscopy and/or materials science is highly desirable. Candidates must also have good communication skills, including fluency in written and spoken English. You must be able to tackle different aspects of a complex problem with a great deal of independence but also to collaborate in good team spirit with other members of the team. Important selection criteria are high grades and an advanced scientific background including experimental work at the level of major research universities.

We offer a challenging research project in an ambitious research group through a fixed-term appointment for a period of 4 years. The research is intended to lead to the attainment of a PhD degree. As an employee of the university you will receive a competitive salary as well as excellent employment conditions. The salary starts at 2222.- per month (gross) in the first year, increasing up to 2840,- per month (gross) in the last year. Moreover, an 8% holiday allowance and 8.3% end-of-year allowance is provided annually. Assistance for finding accommodation is available. The university offers an attractive package of fringe benefits such as excellent technical infrastructure, child care, savings schemes, and excellent sports facilities. TU/e also provides opportunities for personal development by offering every PhD student a series of courses in the PROOF program as an addition to your scientific education.


If interested, please use ‘apply now’-button at the top of this page. Applications should include: Screening of applications will start as soon as applications are received and will continue until the position has been filled.


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