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PhD Optimization methods for aberration compensation

PhD Optimization methods for aberration compensation

Are you inspired by a project where you can work on Optimization methods for aberration compensation? We like to get in touch with you!
Mathematics & Computer Science


Are you inspired by a project where you can work on 'Optimization methods for aberration compensation’? We like to get in touch with you!

The department of Mathematics and Computer Science at TU/e is looking for a PhD candidate who is willing to take up the challenge of conducting research in close collaboration with industry. In particular with ASML, world's leader in lithography technology; see You will spend part of your time at ASML.

Due to the ever growing demand for smaller and smarter electronics, there is a growing demand for high-end photolithography machines to manufacture these. Crucial for the workings of these machines are optical systems that can very accurately direct light of small wave length, typically extreme ultraviolet, to a substrate to create the nanometer-scale structures required for the electronics. However, optical systems are prone to aberrations, i.e., small distortions of the image on the wafer plane, which have to be corrected. The purpose of this research project is to develop methodologies for the design of optical systems that minimize these aberrations.

Computational Illumination Optics at TU/e
You will be a member of the Computational Illumination Optics group at TU/e. Our research is focused on the development of simulation tools and design methods for advanced optical systems. We work on three different tracks: (i) inverse methods, (ii) improved simulation tools and (iii) optimization methods. This PhD project belongs to the third track. At this moment the group has eight PhD positions.

The Computational Illumination Optics group is part of the Centre for Analysis, Scientific computing and Applications (CASA); see Its major research objective is to develop new and to improve existing mathematical (both analytical and numerical) methods for a wide range of applications in science and engineering. Extensive collaboration with researchers of the technical departments as well as with industrial partners is vital.

Project description
Aberrations in an optical system can be quantified by a so-called merit function, which has to be minimized. To compute the merit function, several possible techniques are available, in particular for standard lens systems. The standard method is paraxial ray tracing. More sophisticated methods, that are based on Lie operators or Hamiltonian systems describing ray propagation, are required. The candidate has to investigate the feasibility of these methods, in particular for optical systems containing grazing incidence reflectors, and to develop sophisticated methods to minimize the merit function. For lens systems, these methods are well established, however, not for grazing incidence systems. Finally, based on the results of the previous, a simulation code to optimize optical systems has to be developed.

The project offers the possibility for fundamentally new, cutting edge research at the interface of scientific computing and illumination optics. Moreover, we expect that the knowledge and software generated in this project will have a profound impact on the research on optical systems within ASML.


We are looking for a talented, enthusiastic PhD candidate who meets the following requirements:

  • An MSc in Mathematics, Physics or closely related field with above average results, with a background in scientific computing;
  • A research oriented attitude;
  • Ability to work in a team and interested in collaborating with industrial partners;
  • Perform scientific research in the described domain;
  • Present work at international conferences;
  • Publish in scientific journals;
  • Assist staff in teaching undergraduate and graduate courses;
  • Prepare and defend your PhD thesis.


We offer:

  • A meaningful job in a dynamic and ambitious university with the possibility to present your work at international conferences;
  • A full-time employment for four years, with an intermediate evaluation after 9 months;
  • To support you during your PhD and to prepare you for the rest of your career, you will have free access to a personal development program for PhD students (PROOF program);
  • A gross monthly salary and benefits in accordance with the Collective Labor Agreement for Dutch Universities;
  • Additionally, an annual holiday allowance of 8% of the yearly salary, plus a year-end allowance of 8.3% of the annual salary;
  • A broad package of fringe benefits, including an excellent technical infrastructure, moving expenses, and savings schemes;
  • Family-friendly initiatives are in place, such as an international spouse program, and excellent on-campus children day care and sports facilities;
  • A research position in an enthusiastic and internationally renowned research group.

Informatie en sollicitatie


About the project, please contact Jan ten Thije Boonkkamp (TU/e), email: j.h.m.tenthijeboonkkamp[at], tel. +31629341653 or Wilbert IJzerman (Signify), email: wilbert.ijzerman[at], tel. +31610183927.

About the employment conditions you can contact Mrs. Karin Wels-Noordermeer, email: HRServices.MCS[at]

Please visit to find out more about working at TU/e!

Find out how PhD students appreciate the interdisciplinary research, the connections with industry and the informal atmosphere at our university via the following link:


The application should consist of the following parts:

  • A motivation letter;
  • A curriculum vitae;
  • Copies of diplomas and a list of grades of your studies;
  • Names and addresses of two referees;
  • Deadline for application: April 2, 2021.

Please apply by using the 'Apply now' button on top of this page.
You can upload a maximum of 5 documents (max. 2 MB each).