Postdoctoral research fellow position: Attosecond soft-X-ray spectroscopy and diffraction at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU) / Advanced Research Center for Nanolithography (ARCNL)

Postdoctoral research fellow position: Attosecond soft-X-ray spectroscopy and diffraction at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU) / Advanced Research Center for Nanolithography (ARCNL)

Netherlands 31 Dec 2021
Advanced Research Center for Nanolithography ARCNL

Advanced Research Center for Nanolithography ARCNL

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State University
Host Country
31 Dec 2021
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Full funding
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The High-harmonic generation and EUV science group at ARCNL, Amsterdam, has an opening for a two-year postdoctoral position.

In this project you will contribute to some of our ongoing investigations to develop new ultrafast femtosecond to attosecond time-scale semiconductor spectroscopy, imaging and metrology techniques in the soft-X-ray spectral range. This includes developing soft-X-ray spectroscopic scatterometry to determine the thickness of various nanometer-sized layers in multilayer semiconductor structures, developing soft-X-ray imaging methods for non-periodic structures, and develop ultrafast metrology to characterize electrical contacts between different layers in a non-contact way. First experiments will be carried out in semiconductor nanostructures that resemble present-day integrated circuits. Your research will thus contribute to bringing the fundamental field of attosecond science in contact with industrial applications to measure nanoscale structures. Furthermore, the developed techniques will be used in the future to study dynamics and phase transitions in strongly correlated materials, which exhibit both ultrafast dynamics as well as nanoscale morphologies.

To realize these ambitions, you will have access to a table-top setup to generate soft-X-ray pulses (10 - 2 nm) from high-harmonic generation with a unique high-power, multi-mJ, 50-kHz mid-infrared optical-parametric amplifier, and utilize those pulses for transient soft-X-ray spectroscopy with femtosecond and attosecond temporal resolution on solid-state samples. In addition, the group is equipped with commercial Ti:Sa laser systems, that allow similar experiments in the extreme-ultraviolet (100 - 10 nm) spectral range.

Ultimately, the goal is to connect spectroscopic transient absorption and reflection measurements with scatterometry and coherent diffraction techniques, in order to enable all-optical attosecond imaging with nanometer-spatial resolution and element specificity.

About the group

The high-harmonic generation and EUV science groups develops and utilizes new high-harmonic generation based extreme ultraviolet and soft-X-ray sources in the energy range from 10 – 600 eV for spectroscopy and metrology applications. Specific areas of interest are attosecond and femtosecond time-resolved spectroscopy of complex chemical and solid-state dynamics, new strategies for efficient high-harmonic generation, as well as new routes for nanometer-scale imaging of semiconductor structures. Novel types of attosecond and femtosecond transient absorption and reflection spectroscopies, as well as scattering techniques, are developed, and applied to fundamental question with particular relevance to nanolithography.

The group is equipped with Ti:Sa (Titanium:Sapphire) lasers for high-harmonic generation. In addition, a unique 50 kHz, multi-mJ optical-parametric chirped-pulse amplifier system (OPCPA) has recently been completed and can be made available to this project.

The group houses state-of-the-art lab facilities at the Advanced Research Center for Nanolithography (ARCNL). The Advanced Research Center for Nanolithography (ARCNL) focuses on the fundamental physics and chemistry involved in current and future key technologies in nanolithography, primarily for the semiconductor industry. ARCNL is a public-private partnership between the Dutch Research Council (NWO), the University of Amsterdam (UvA), the VU University Amsterdam (VU) and the semiconductor equipment manufacturer ASML. ARCNL is located at the Science Park Amsterdam, The Netherlands, and is currently building up towards a size of approximately 100 scientists and support staff. We offer a dynamic and open environment, and aim to provide the optimum conditions for young scientists to do exciting research leading to high-impact results, which focus on fundamental physics and chemistry challenges, and might also have direct technological relevance.


You have (or will receive in near future) a PhD degree in physics, physical chemistry, electrical engineering, or a closely related subject. You enjoy performing experiments and analysis to stepwise build a deeper understanding of complex physical mechanisms. Experience in one or more of the involved topics (high-harmonic generation, ultrafast lasers and optics, vacuum instrumentation, attosecond and femtosecond science, EUV and X-Ray spectroscopy and scattering), in particular experimentally but also theoretically, is required.

Very good verbal and written communications skills (in English) are required.

Terms of employment

A postdoc position is intended as full-time appointment in the service of VU University Amsterdam for the duration of 2 years (initially 12 months and - after positive evaluation - extended to two years). The postdoc salary will be in accordance with university regulations for academic personnel, and depending on the experience.

VU University can assist international candidates with visa applications and ARCNL can assist in finding housing.

Do you come from abroad? We will assist you with visa applications and compensate your transport costs and furnishing expenses. A favorable tax agreement, the ‘30% ruling’, may apply to non-Dutch applicants.

You can find information about VU excellent fringe benefits of employment at like:

Contact info

Peter Kraus
Group leader (High-harmonic generation and EUV Science) at ARCNL
Assistant Professor of Physics at Vrije Universiteit (VU) Amsterdam
Phone: +31 (0)20-754 7100

You can respond to this vacancy online via the button below.
Please annex your:
–  Resume;
–  Motivation on why you want to join the group (max. 1 page).
It is important to us to know why you want to join our team. This means that we will only consider your application if it entails your motivation letter.

Applications will be evaluated on a rolling basis and as soon as an excellent match is made, the position will be filled.

Online screening may be part of the selection.

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