Postdoc on nano-opto-electro-mechanical sensors for atomic force imaging (V34.2902)

Postdoc on nano-opto-electro-mechanical sensors for atomic force imaging

The Photonics and Semiconductor Nanophysics group at the Eindhoven University of Technology (The Netherlands, has an open Postdoc position in the field of nano-opto-electromechanical sensors.
(Post-doctoral) Researcher
Department of Applied Physics
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Job description

The continuous miniaturization of integrated circuits (IC), with feature sizes approaching the 10 nm scale, brings tremendous challenges related to the corresponding metrology instrumentation. Imaging surfaces with sub-nm resolution and at very high speeds is needed for the characterization of IC processes. Atomic force microscopy (AFM), based on the optical measurement of the position of a tip while it is scanned on a surface, provides the required resolution, but it is far too slow for most applications. Our group has recently developed a novel nano-opto-electro-mechanical structure (NOEMS), which combines a nanoscale actuator and a built-in sensor. The resolution of the sensor, based on a photonic crystal optomechanical cavity, is presently in the pm range and can potentially reach the 10 fm range. In this project we aim at investigating the application of this NOEMS as a smart, self-sensing AFM tip. As compared to conventional AFM microscopes, this would allow massive parallelization of the imaging, since many tips can be used in parallel, and would enable a new generation of fast and ultrasensitive AFM scanners.

Project description

The selected candidate will perform applied research at the interface between nanophotonics and atomic force microscopy. The nano-opto-electro-mechanical structures, based on photonic crystal cavities equipped with a tip, are currently being designed and made within a recently started PhD project. The Postdoc would focus on implementation of the device in a prototype AFM system and on parallelization of it, exploring novel methods for the parallel read-out of multiple cavities. Tasks include the design of the scanning mode schemes, integration in an actual AFM configuration with coarse actuators, implementing the mechatronics of the system, benchmarking against conventional AFM’s. The Postdoc will work together with the PhD student.

The project is funded by the Applied and Engineering Sciences domain (TTW, formerly STW) of the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO), and carried out at the Eindhoven University of Technology, under the supervision of prof. dr. A. Fiore and dr. R.W. van der Heijden. A close collaboration exists with the Nano-Optomechatronics Instrumentation (NOMI) program of TNO (Netherlands Organization for Applied Scientific Research) in Delft, the Netherlands ( ). Part of the research will be carried out at TNO under the supervision of dr. H. Sadeghian and using facilities of the NOMI program at TNO. The project is further supported by several other industrial partners from the Netherlands and International.

Job requirements

We welcome applications from candidates with a recent PhD degree in Applied Physics, Electrical Engineering or Mechanical Engineering, preferably in a topic relevant to AFM instrumentation. In addition, a background and interest in optics or photonics is required as well. Candidates must prove a strong attitude towards experimental physics and the drive and capacity to tackle different aspects of a complex problem with large independence. Candidates must be willing to travel frequently between Eindhoven and Delft.

Conditions of employment

We offer a full time appointment for a maximum of three years, a gross monthly salary from €3.068, depending on knowledge and experience, in line with the Collective Agreement for Dutch Universities and an attractive package of fringe benefits, including end-of-year allowance.

Information and application

Information on the project may be obtained from prof. A. Fiore (, or dr. R.W. van der Heijden ( If you are interested in this position, please send in your application by using the 'Apply now'-button on this page.

Applications should include:

  • A cover letter explaining your motivation and qualifications for the position
  • A detailed CV
  • A list of publications and conference contributions
  • Names and contact information of two or more references

Screening of applications will start as soon as applications are received and will continue until the position has been filled.