See Vacancies - University of Twente

PhD – Research position on Physics of radiation induced damage of thin films

The XUV Optics group is embedded in the MESA+ Institute (, which is one of the largest nanotechnology research institutes in the world, delivering competitive and successful high-quality research. The institute employs 500 people of which 275 are PhD's or PostDocs. With its unique NanoLab facilities the institute holds 1250 m2 of cleanroom space and state-of-the-art research equipment

Job description

We are looking for a motivated and skilled PhD researcher to work on exploring the fundamentals of light-matter interaction at high intensity in the context of radiation damage.

A rapid increase of the power of XUV and X-ray sources, being extremely desired for their practical application, may cause damage to vital optical components of the setups. In order to understand the mechanisms of damage and predict the lifetime of various components, one needs an accurate theoretical model of light-matter interaction to be developed and experimentally verified.

In our group, in collaboration with other academic institutes, we are developing a hybrid model of ultrashort laser pulse interaction with thin films using a combined Monte Carlo, hydrodynamic, molecular dynamic (MD) and density functional theory (DFT) approach. Recently, the model was successfully applied to study the damage produced in ruthenium thin films by different radiation sources.

Damage crater produced in a ruthenium thin film by an EUV femtosecond free electron laser and the corresponding simulation results.

Your task will be to (i) develop the existing modelling for new, yet unexplored combinations of materials and irradiation conditions and (ii) improve the existing solutions beyond the current limits of their applicability. The goal is to identify and understand the physical processes that may eventually lead to damage. Within this frame, the research will contain computational studies, initiation and analysis of experiments in collaboration with various scientific groups and experimental facilities worldwide.

The project will be carried under the umbrella of the Industrial Focus Group XUV Optics where a new multidisciplinary research program on growth, characterization and application of thin film devices, primarily for optical application, has started. We develop forefront fundamental research, relevant to high tech applications ( 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.

Your profile

  • You have, or are about to get, a master’s degree in solid state or surface physics, optics, materials science or a related field;
  • You have a solid background in physics simulations using programming languages such as Fortran, C++, Python or Matlab;
  • You are familiar with numerical methods in mathematics and physics, such as finite difference and finite element methods;
  • Experience with MD or DFT simulations is highly appreciated;
  • You are an excellent team player in an enthusiastic group of scientists and engineers working on a joint assignment;
  • You are creative, like to push boundaries, and are highly motivated to address major science challenges in light-matter interaction physics;
  • You are fluent in English and able to collaborate intensively with industrial and academic parties in regular meetings and work visits;


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. Eric Louis at, +31 53 4894378 and Dr. Igor A. Makhotkin at  +31 53 4891172.

Our offer

You will be appointed on a fulltime position for four years. The university offers a dynamic ecosystem with enthusiastic colleagues in a stimulating scientific environment. The PhD salary is € 2.325,- euro in the first year and increases to € 2.972,- euro 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%.

The organization

The University of Twente. We stand for life sciences and technology. High tech and human touch. Education and research that matter. New technology which leads change, innovation and progress in society. The University of Twente is the only campus university of the Netherlands; divided over five faculties we provide more than fifty educational programmes. We have a strong focus on personal development and talented researchers are given scope for carrying out groundbreaking research.

We are an equal opportunity employer and value diversity at our company. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status or disability status. Because of our diversity values we do particularly support women to apply.

Within the TNW Faculty (Faculty of Science & Technology) of the University of Twente some 700 staff members and 2000 students are involved in training and research on the interface of chemical technology, applied physics and biomedical technology. Fields of application include sustainable energy, process technology and materials science, nanotechnology and technical medicine. Research, which enjoys a high profile both at home and internationally, has been accommodated in the multidisciplinary research institutes: Mesa+ Institute, TechMed Centra and Digital Society Institute. The faculty works together intensively with industrial partners and researchers in the Netherlands and abroad and conducts extensive research for external commissioning parties and funders.

PhD – Research position on Physics of radiation induced damage of thin films
Apply now