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PhD Research position - NEXT 3D ( Near-field Enhanced X-ray fluorescence metrology for the characterization of nanometer-Thin films and 3D structures)

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

Are you interested in exploring the exiting field of 3D X-ray metrology for high-tech applications?

We are looking for a motivated and skilled PhD researcher to work on exploring the experimental and theoretical aspects of a recently discovered 3D fluorescent X-ray standing wave technique (XSW).

Recent developments in nano-fabrication and the continuous down scaling of the characteristic features in nano-devices are calling for the development of new, non-destructive, 3D structural characterization methods. Currently, the widely used scanning electron microscopy is approaching the limits of its applicability because of the difficulty to characterize buried patterns. On the other hand, X-ray scattering based techniques receive more and more attention as they can have ultra-high resolution and the ability to characterize buried structures due to a large X-ray penetration depth. The aim of our research group is to develop the physics solutions for these tasks, such that new characterization approaches can be realized not only in the laboratory, but also in the industrial environment.

We have recently demonstrated the theoretical possibility of the 3D X-ray standing wave (see image) formed in structured 3D films to be used for angular mapping of the excited X-ray fluorescence, that holds the information about the internal 3D structure of buried nano-objects.

Your task will be to experimentally and numerically investigate the potentials of this 3D X-ray standing wave technique and explore algorithms of experimental data analysis obtained from the-state-of-the-art structures provided by our industrial partners.

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 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, at list, high-level languages like Python or Matlab.
  • You are familiar with numerical methods in mathematics, physics and specifically in linear algebra.
  • You are an excellent team player that likes to work in an enthusiastic group of scientists and engineers working on a common theme.
  • You are creative, like to push boundaries, and are highly motivated to address a major science challenge in thin film physics.
  • You are fluent in English and able to collaborate intensively with industrial and academic parties in regular meetings and work visits.
  • You are able to join our team before the 1st of December 2019

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 - NEXT 3D ( Near-field Enhanced X-ray fluorescence metrology for the characterization of nanometer-Thin films and 3D structures)
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