MESA+ University of Twente
Industrial focus group XUV Optics


PhD – Nanoscale multilayer soft X-ray mirrors

Ultrathin films of nanoscale thickness find a major application in multilayer mirrors for short wavelength light. By tuning the layer thickness, these layered stacks can reflect light selectively in a narrow band in the Extreme Ultraviolet or soft X-ray range. Such stacks act as wavelength dispersive systems, or as monochromators of the incident light. They can be used to analyze elemental-specific X-ray emission from unknown material compositions with ppb sensitivity. This technique, X-Ray Fluorescence Analysis, is applied in semiconductor industry and advanced materials research.

The XUV Optics focus group at MESA+ has started a new multidisciplinary research programme to develop layered systems for the soft X-ray range with the ambition of record reflectivity and selectivity. The design and the synthesis of such multilayers represents a major physical challenge since the layer thickness typically approaches atomic scale dimensions. Essential is the control of layer growth from the initial stage of first atoms landing on the surface. The approach will be to isolate the individual physical and chemical processes and to control them down to the atomic and molecular level, with support of analytical methods and thin film growth set-ups. The activities at MESA+ include world-leading research in each of these areas, exploiting atomic-scale layer growth equipment and surface analysis facilities, state-of-the-art inspection and diagnostics and a range of numerical tools. The research will take place in a new, 500 m2, thin film laboratory within the MESA+ Institute and is done in close collaboration with industrial and academic parties, including Carl Zeiss SMT, ASML, PANalytical, DEMCON, SolMateS, and TNO.


We are looking for a skilled experimentalist with a Master degree in physics, materials science, physical chemistry or engineering. Experience with deposition techniques and knowledge of atomistic details of thin film growth and models of growth processes as a function of energetic bombardment is desirable. Our favored candidate is creative and likes to push boundaries. We expect the candidate to have excellent command of the English language as well as professional communication and presentation skills.

For further information you can contact Prof. Fred Bijkerk at, +31 620573555, +31 53 4892130 or Dr Eric Louis at, +31 644726398, +31 53 4894378.

Candidates are invited to upload their application at the UT web address, including a short motivation letter (Please mention PAN1 In your motivation), references, and CV to the application button below.


The University of Twente offers a stimulating work environment in an area of applied, forefront research. When fulfilling a PhD position at the UT, you will get the status of junior scientist. You will have an employment contract for the duration of 4 years and can participate in all employee benefits the UT offers. The gross monthly salary starts with € 2125,- in the first year and increases to € 2717,- in the fourth year of your employment. Additionally, the University of Twente provides excellent facilities for professional and personal development, a holiday allowance (amount to 8%), an end of year bonus of 8.3%. A high-quality training programme is part of the agreement. The research has to result in a PhD thesis at the end of the employment period. The position is available immediately.


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

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+ and MIRA. 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.

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