Increasingly complex 3D shapes are used as Semicon devices, requiring advanced metrology techniques to monitor production and understand performance of the devices. Atomic force microscopy allows to reach the required sub-nm accuracy by using relatively blunt probes, sensing always in the same direction, but only the top of the 3D shapes can be explored.
This PhD project is part of a larger project in collaboration with TNO (Dutch Organization for Applied Scientific Research) and the semiconductor metrology company Nearfield Instruments, which aims to enable the use of nanotube-based probes to scan the profile on the samples with more challenging topographies. The nanotube probe shape strongly improves how well holes or trenches in the sample can be accessed. However, the slender probes become weaker in lateral direction, while sensitivity in this direction is also needed to thoroughly scan the samples. Within the project, this position focuses on the modelling and simulation of the nanotube-based profiling, whereas the other two work on the control and experimental part of the project.
This PhD position aims to understand the nonlinear dynamics that drive the probe motion in the neighborhood of high-aspect ratio sample structures. In particular, van der Waals-type attractive forces, electrostatic forces and squeeze-film damping forces will bring a strongly nonlinear force-position dependency, which, in contrast to conventional approaches, cannot be understood by a spherical tip & flat surface approximation. Hence, to derive a proper dynamic model of the probe motion, different important steps need to be performed including
You will execute this project in the Autonomous and Complex Systems group of the Dynamics and Control (D&C) section at the Department of Mechanical Engineering of the Eindhoven University of Technology, and TNO Optomechatronics in Delft.
The mission of the Dynamics and Control Section, which consists of 22 faculty members and 45 researchers, is to perform research and train next-generation students on the topic of understanding and predicting the dynamics of complex engineering systems in order to develop advanced control, estimation, planning, and learning strategies which are at the core of the intelligent autonomous systems of the future: Designing and realizing smart autonomous systems for industry and society.
TNO Optomechatronics develops world-class optomechatronic systems for applications in space, big science, and the semiconductor industry. We push back the boundaries of technology, so as to give impetus to the high-tech industry and enable scientific discoveries.
A meaningful job in a dynamic and ambitious university, in an interdisciplinary setting and within an international network. You will work on a beautiful, green campus within walking distance of the central train station. In addition, we offer you:
Eindhoven University of Technology is an internationally top-ranking university in the Netherlands that combines scientific curiosity with a hands-on attitude. Our spirit of collaboration translates into an open culture and a top-five position in collaborating with advanced industries. Fundamental knowledge enables us to design solutions for the highly complex problems of today and tomorrow.
More information about the project can be obtained through the project’s supervisory team: I. Cortes Garcia (i.cortes.garcia[at]tue.nl), E. Steur (e.steur[at]tue.nl), and H. Nijmeijer (h.nijmeijer[at]tue.nl).
Visit our website for more information about the application process or the conditions of employment. You can also contact HRServices.Gemini[at]tue.nl.
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We look forward to receiving your application and will screen it as soon as possible. The vacancy will remain open until the position is filled.