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Postdoc - area-selective atomic layer deposition using inhibitors in ABC cycles (V34.3968)

Postdoc - area-selective atomic layer deposition using inhibitors in ABC cycles

(Post-doctoral) Researcher
Department of Applied Physics
Date off
Reference number

Job description


Area-selective atomic layer deposition (ALD) is currently evolving into an active topic of research, motivated by the increasingly demanding requirements for alignment during the fabrication of sub-5 nm nanoelectronics. By deposition of material only where it is needed, area-selective ALD eliminates photolithography and etching steps, and is therefore considered for self-aligned fabrication schemes. The Plasma & Materials Processing (PMP) group at the Department of Applied Physics has played a pioneering role in the use of ALD for nanopatterning, and now also focuses on the development of new approaches for bottom-up fabrication by area-selective ALD. This effort builds on extensive expertise of the PMP group in thin film deposition for nanoelectronics applications.

Project & Job description

We are looking for a postdoc who is interested in working on the advancement of area-selective ALD technology. Recently, the PMP group has introduced a new approach for area-selective ALD, based on using vapor-phase inhibitor molecules in ABC-type (i.e. three-step) ALD cycles. By dosing the inhibitor molecules every cycle, the approach is compatible with industrial process flows, which has attracted the attention of several companies in the semiconductor industry. The extension of this approach to more material systems will require a better understanding of the underlying mechanisms of blocking precursor adsorption by inhibitor molecules. A variety of experimental techniques will employed to obtain insights into the growth and the surface chemistry such as in-situ spectroscopic ellipsometry and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy. These experimental studies will be complemented with theoretical studies in collaboration with other research groups. Moreover, this project will carried out in strong collaboration with industrial partners. In order to demonstrate area-selective ALD processes for specific applications, depositions will be performed on relevant patterned samples. This postdoc is a 2-year position intended to start from ~September 2019 or as soon as possible after that.


The work will be performed in the group Plasma & Materials Processing at the Department of Applied Physics at the TU/e. The PMP group focuses on the advancement of the science and technology of plasma and materials processing, a research area which is in essence multidisciplinary and encompasses the research fields of plasma physics, surface science, and materials science. The scientific objective of the group is to obtain “atomic” level understanding of the interaction of plasmas and gases with materials.

Job requirements

We are looking for a talented and motivated candidate with a doctoral degree in Chemistry, Chemical Engineering, Material Science, (Applied) Physics, or similar. He/she must have a good understanding of chemical and physical processes playing a role during thin film deposition. A background in surface functionalization or thin film synthesis is preferred. To facilitate the interaction with project partners, the candidate should have interest in the interpretation of theoretical studies, as well as in device fabrication schemes. Excellent communication skills in English (both written and spoken) are essential.

Responsibilities and tasks:

  • Investigation of the mechanisms of inhibitor and precursor adsorption using various diagnostic techniques.
  • Development of area-selective ALD processes, analysis of the deposited films, and demonstration of the selectivity.
  • Report results to industrial partners, preparation of scientific papers and conference presentations.
  • Daily supervision of BSc, MSc and PhD students.

Conditions of employment

  • A full-time appointment for two years;
  • A gross monthly salary in accordance with the Collective Labor Agreement of the Dutch Universities, scale 10, (between € 3255,00 and € 4274,00 depending on your experience);
  • An attractive package of fringe benefits including moving expenses, holiday and end-of-year allowances, and excellent sports facilities.

Information and application

Information on the project may be obtained from A.J.M. Mackus (a.j.m.mackus[at] or W.M.M. Kessels (w.m.m.kessels[at] If you are interested in this position, please send in your application by using the 'Apply for this job'-button on this page.

Applications should include:

  • A cover letter explaining your motivation and qualifications for the position. Please indicate specifically your experience in the areas of surface functionalization and/or thin film deposition and describe in a separate paragraph why you would be qualified for the position(s).
  • 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.

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