PhD Position “Thin-Film Piezoelectric Actuators”

Updated: about 2 months ago
Job Type: Temporary
Deadline: 31 Jan 2022

Are you enthusiastic about exploring scientific challenges with an industrial application perspective?

Extreme ultraviolet lithography (EUVL) is the latest generation of the semiconductor manufacturing technology. Future EUVL machines require improved wafer flatness during lithography process for enhanced performance. It is challenging to provide the necessary flatness with the current electrostatic wafer stages. An active wafer stage with locally tunable actuators made from piezoelectric thin films is a promising candidate.

We are looking for a motivated and skilled PhD student to carry out research on the fundamental physics questions on the growth and characterization of piezoelectric thin films and usage of these films as building blocks for actuators with multiple degrees of freedom.

The XUV Optics Group at Twente has started a new multidisciplinary research program on these topics. 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 academic and industrial partners. The XUV group has a track record in developing thin film physics and holds several records in functional film properties, including the reflectivity of thin film multilayer optics.


Your goal is to develop the key material science required for growing and using piezoelectric thin films in actuator configurations. This includes:

  • Exploring the layer growth processes and molecular scale process engineering of piezoelectric thin films, using physical vapor deposition techniques such as pulsed laser deposition, aiming for high piezoelectric functional properties on industrially relevant substrates.
  • Developing the understanding of the piezoelectric film structures and their functional properties using characterization techniques such as AFM, XRD, SEM and DBLI and detailed data analysis.
  • Exploring new actuator geometries enabling movement with multiple-degrees of freedom using piezoelectric thin films.

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