PhD student: Laser-induced damage

 The Institute of Physics (IoP) of the University of Amsterdam and the Advanced Research Center for Nanolithography (ARCNL) have an opening for a fully funded PhD position.  


Materials exposed to light inevitably suffer from optical damage when the light fluence keeps increasing. When using lasers as light sources, damage can take different forms, ranging from a reasonably gentle separation of layers of different materials (delamination), to violent and explosive removal of material, crater formation and even the creation of a plasma.  We study these processes on time scales ranging from femtoseconds to seconds.  We are seeking a PhD candidate who is interested in interdisciplinary research into the mechanisms behind light-induced damage in materials used in nanolithography.


What are you going to do


In this project, a collaboration between the Light-Matter Interaction group and the Materials & Surface Science for EUVL group, you will study the fundamental physics behind light-induced damage within the context of optical metrology in nanolithography. You will learn to work with high power (tunable) femtosecond laser systems, and acquire a deep understanding of  light-matter interaction at high optical fluences, and of the light-induced changes in material properties. You will  learn techniques to fabricate nanolayers and nanostructures using nanolithography, and to study pristine and damaged structures  with techniques such as X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), scanning-electron microscopy (SEM), atomic-force microscopy (AFM) and others. Part of your project is to use your experimental results  and the knowledge gained into (numerical) models that may help predict and mitigate optical damage.


What do you have to offer


You have:


  • MSc-degree in Chemical Physics or Physics
  • Preferably, experience with (femtosecond) lasers and optics. 
  • Good communication skills (in English)
  • Willingness to collaborate with others are an advantage.


Our offer


A temporary contract for 38 hours per week for the duration of 4 years (the initial contract will be for a period of 18 months and after satisfactory evaluation it will be extended for a total duration of 4 years). This should lead to a dissertation (PhD thesis). We will draft an educational plan that includes attendance of courses and (international) meetings. We also expect you to assist in teaching undergraduates and master students.


The gross monthly salary, based on 38 hours per week and dependent on relevant experience, ranges between € 2,443 to € 3,122 (scale P). This does not include 8% holiday allowance and 8,3% year-end allowance. The UFO profile PhD is applicable. A favourable tax agreement, the ‘30% ruling’, may apply to non-Dutch applicants. The Collective Labour Agreement of Universities of the Netherlands is applicable.


Besides the salary and a vibrant and challenging environment at Science Park we offer you multiple fringe benefits:


  • 232 holiday hours per year (based on fulltime) and extra holidays between Christmas and 1 January;
  • multiple courses to follow from our Teaching and Learning Centre;
  • a complete educational program for PhD students;
  • multiple courses on topics such as leadership for academic staff;
  • multiple courses on topics such as time management, handling stress and an online learning platform with 100+ different courses;
  • 7 weeks birth leave (partner leave) with 100% salary;
  • partly paid parental leave;
  • the possibility to set up a workplace at home;
  • a pension at ABP for which UvA pays two third part of the contribution;
  • the possibility to follow courses to learn Dutch;
  • help with housing for a studio or small apartment when you’re moving from abroad.


Are you curious to read more about our extensive package of secondary employment benefits, take a look here.


About us


The University of Amsterdam is the Netherlands' largest university, offering the widest range of academic programmes. At the UvA, 30,000 students, 6,000 staff members and 3,000 PhD candidates study and work in a diverse range of fields, connected by a culture of curiosity.


The Faculty of Science has a student body of around 8,000, as well as 1,800 members of staff working in education, research or support services. Researchers and students at the Faculty of Science are fascinated by every aspect of how the world works, be it elementary particles, the birth of the universe or the functioning of the brain.


The mission of the Institute of Physics (IoP) is to carry out excellent research in the field of experimental and theoretical physics, to provide inspiring teaching within the physics and other curricula and to transfer our knowledge of and enthusiasm for physics to society. The IoP has over 50 faculty and 180 researchers in total. The combination with the NWO Institutes at Amsterdam Science Park constitutes the largest physics hub in the Netherlands and is an international centre of excellence.


The Advanced Research Centre 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 a thriving research community of approximately 100 scientists and support staff. See also


In the Light-Matter interaction group we study the interaction of light with matter within the context of current, and potential future optical metrology applications, such as laser-induced ultrasonics. 

In the Materials & Surface Science for EUV lithography group we study the evolution of surfaces exposed to challenging conditions relevant to nanolithography, including the interaction with gases, radicals, ions, and light. The key method for this research is in situ photoelectron spectroscopy, which allows conclusions on the composition and chemical state of the surface.


Want to know more about our organisation? Read more about working at the University of Amsterdam.




Do you have any questions or do you require additional information? Please contact:


Job application


If you feel the profile fits you, and you are interested in the job, we look forward to receiving your application. You can apply online via the button below. We accept applications until and including 30 September 2022.


Applications should include the following information (all files besides your cv should be submitted in one single pdf file):


  • CV
  • Motivation letter (maximum 1 page) expressing your research interests (previous and future), interest in the project, why you would want to join ARCNL and the Light-Matter interaction group, and how you meet the criteria laid out in the advert. Names and contact details of two references should also be supplied.

Your application will only be considered if it contains both documents. Incomplete applications will be discarded without further review.



The UvA is an equal-opportunity employer. We prioritize diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for everyone. We value a spirit of enquiry and perseverance, provide the space to keep asking questions, and promote a culture of curiosity and creativity.


If you encounter Error GBB451/ GBC451, reach out to our HR Department directly. They will gladly help you continue your application.


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118 PhD, Postdoc and Academic Positions at Eindhoven University in Netherlands