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PhD Research position Physics of low energy ion scattering from thin films and multilayer structures

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TNW Faculty (Faculty of Science & Technology)

The Faculty of Science & Technology (Technische Natuurwetenschappen, TNW) engages some 700 staff members and 2000 students in education and research on the cutting edge of chemical technology, applied physics and biomedical technology. Our fields of application include sustainable energy, process technology and materials science, nanotechnology and technical medicine. As part of a people-first tech university that aims to shape society, individuals and connections, our faculty works together intensively with industrial partners and researchers in the Netherlands and abroad, and conducts extensive research for external commissioning parties and funders. Our research has a high profile both in the Netherlands and internationally and is strengthened by the many young researchers working on innovative projects with as doctoral candidates and post-docs. It has been accommodated in three multidisciplinary UT research institutes: Mesa+ Institute, TechMed Centre and Digital Society Institute.

As an employer, the TNW Faculty offers jobs that matter. We equip you as a staff member to shape new opportunities both for yourself and for our society. With our Faculty, you will be part of a leading tech university that is changing our world for the better. We offer an open, inclusive and entrepreneurial climate, in which we encourage you to make healthy choices, for example, with our flexible, customisable conditions.   



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Academic staff - PhD

Job title

PhD Research position Physics of low energy ion scattering from thin films and multilayer structures

Minimum salary


Maximum salary


Job description

We are looking for a highly motivated and skilled PhD researcher to work on the physics of low energy ion scattering from thin films and multilayer structures. Low Energy Ion Scattering (LEIS) is a surface analysis technique that represents a very powerful tool for compositional characterization of surfaces and interfaces of thin films. LEIS spectra contain distinct areas corresponding to the scattering from the topmost atomic layer or the structure underneath. Consequently the information depth of LEIS analysis covers a range from the topmost atomic layer to a few nanometers underneath. This enables a whole new field of in-situ studies on surface compositional changes during thin film growth. A state-of-the-art setup is available in the thin film laboratory at Twente through a vacuum connection of a LEIS analysis system with an UHV deposition set-up. The aim is to advance the LEIS analysis to be able to explore interaction of thin films in detail. The tasks will include the design of the experiment and model samples, fabrication of these with magnetron sputtering, and their characterization with LEIS and complimentary surface science techniques, as well as further constructing (semi-)empirical models based on the knowledge obtained. Foreseen are exciting physical phenomena through a dedicated study on understanding the features of LEIS spectra.


• You have a Master’s degree in solid state or surface physics, materials science, or a related field.

• You have experience with mathematical modelling and data analysis in programming languages like Matlab or Python, and are willing to improve your skills in depth.

• You enjoy experimental physics and would like to work with physical deposition of nanoscale thin films and their structural analysis.

• You are able to work both independently and in a team of researchers.

• You are creative, like to push boundaries, and are highly motivated to address a major science challenge in thin film physics.

• You are fluent in English and able to collaborate with external parties in regular meetings and work visits.

We offer

You will be appointed on a fulltime position for four years. The university offers a dynamic ecosystem with enthusiastic colleagues in a stimulating scientific environment. The PhD salary is € 2.395 in the first year and increases to € 3.061 in the fourth year. The offer further involves: a holiday allowance of 8% of the gross annual salary and a year-end bonus of 8.3%, a solid pension scheme, a minimum of 29 holidays, and numerous professional and personal development programmes.

Information and application

Your reaction should include an application/motivation letter, emphasizing your specific interest and motivation, a detailed CV, a publication list, contact details of referees, and an academic transcript of B.Sc. and M.Sc. education. An interview and a scientific presentation will be part of the selection procedure. Please apply via the provided button below. 

For more information about the position, you are encouraged to contact Dr. Andrey Zameshin at a.zameshin@utwente.nl and Dr. Andrey Yakshin at a.yakshin@utwente.nl.

Please send your applications to the link below.

About the department

The group works on the physics of thin films and multilayer structures for XUV optics. This optics basically consist of optical stacks of films of nanoscale thickness and comes in reflective and transmissive types. The physics and chemistry of these thin film systems need to be controlled with atomic precision. The aim of our research group is to develop the physics solutions for these tasks, such that new applications can be realized. These range from multi-layered optics engineered to show near-theoretical XUV reflectivity, to highly transparent, few tens of nanometer thin membranes which are robust enough to withstand high XUV power levels. These processes require new types of diagnostics with adequate resolution to film thickness and high sensitivity to chemical state.

The XUV Optics Group at Twente has started a new multidisciplinary research programme 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 industrial partners.

The XUV Optics group is embedded in the MESA+ Institute, which is one of the largest nanotechnology research institutes in the world, delivering competitive and successful high-quality research. With its unique NanoLab facilities the institute holds 1250 m2 of cleanroom space and state-of-the-art research equipment.

Position localisation

Job location

Nederland, Enschede, Drienerlolaan 5, 7522 NB


Drienerlolaan 5 7522 NB Enschede

Candidate criteria

Minimum level of education required

4. Master

Scientific area

Natural sciences