Phd – student: Nonlinear metaphotonics for UV semiconductor metrology

Date posted March 13, 2024
Type PhD positions

Are you eager to pursue a PhD on the interface of nanophotonics and highly nonlinear optics? Are you looking for a PhD project that combines scientific advances with relevance for applications?  In the NWO research programme NanoXUV we will develop nanophotonic structures that convert infrared wavelengths to coherent structured light of very short wavelength, in the UV and even extreme ultraviolet.  The need for such a technology comes from the the extreme miniaturisation of micro-electronics,  which places extreme demands not just on nanofabrication, but also on inspection methods that visualize the manufactured devices.  While optical inspection methods have the advantage of being fast and non-destructive, they typically face the challenge that features that are to be resolved are much smaller than the diffraction limit associated with the usual visible or infrared wavelengths.  In this program we envision on one hand optical metasurfaces that emit structured beams of UV light for metrology, and on the other hand to perfom metrology on structures in wafers that themselves emit  at very short wavelengths when illuminated by infrared light.  

How do you design optical metasurfaces that efficiently radiate UV light by nonlinear frequency conversion?  How do the geometry of meta-atoms and their arrangement in the metasurface translate into beam structuring, i.e., control over the amplitude, phase and polarization distribution of the emitted light ? What physical mechanisms determine how the nonlinear emission is sensitive to metasurface geometry, thus revealing structural information of interest for metrology? You will perform electromagnetic design and theory hand in hand with experiments on nonlinear optical metasurfaces that you fabricate in the AMOLF cleanroom, and of which you probe third harmonic, as well as higher order emission.

The succesful candidates will perform this project in the Resonant Nanophotonics team at AMOLF.  The research is part of a collaborative programme with the group of Dr. Peter Kraus at ARCNL. The research targets both academic and applied breakthroughs, for which we will frequently interact with industry partners at ASML.

About the group

 The research activities in the Resonant Nanophotonics group at AMOLF aim at developing nanoscale photonic structures, such as plasmonics and metasurfaces, to control scattering, emission, amplification and detection of light. The group spans the entire research cycle from developing advanced nanophotonics concepts using state of the art theory and numerical design, to nanofabrication of designed structures in the Amsterdam NanoLab cleanroom at AMOLF and the development of state of the art optical scatterometry and microscopy methods.  

AMOLF performs leading research on the fundamental physics and design principles of natural and man-made complex matter, with research in 4 interconnected themes: nanophotonics, nanophotovoltaics, designer matter, and biophysics. AMOLF leverages these insights to create novel functional materials, and to find solutions to societal challenges in renewable energy, green ICT, and health care. AMOLF is one of the NWO-I national research institutes located at the Amsterdam Science Park, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. It has approximately 130 scientist and a total size of ca. 200 employees. Furthermore it hosts the Amsterdam NanolabNL clean room, which is part of the national NanoLabNL cleanroom network. See also


We are looking for an enthusiastic candidate with an MSc or equivalent degree in physics or a strongly related field. A background in optics, nanophotonics, (coherent) imaging and/or ultrafast laser physics is a clear advantage. Affinity for performing optical experiments, solve mathematical problems and working as part of a team are considered important. Candidates should have experimental skills and be able to communicate in English. The project’s results will be presented at national and international conferences and in relevant journals. The successful candidate is expected to write a PhD thesis towards the end of the 4-year project, which will be defended at the University of Amsterdam. You will need to meet the requirements for an MSc-degree, to ensure eligibility for a Dutch PhD examination.

Terms of employment

The position is intended as full-time (40 hours / week, 12 months / year) appointment in the service of the Netherlands Foundation of Scientific Research Institutes (NWO-I) for the duration of four years, with a starting salary of gross € 2.781 per month and a range of employment benefits. After successful completion of the PhD research a PhD degree will be granted at the University of Amsterdam. Several courses are offered, specially developed for PhD-students. AMOLF assists any new foreign PhD-student with housing and visa applications and compensates their transport costs and furnishing expenses.

Contact info

Prof.dr. Femius Koenderink
Group leader Resonant Nanophotonics
Phone: +31 (0)20-754 7100

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