Optical sensors are extensively used in the semiconductor industry, for highly accurate metrology on the (sub-)nanometer scale. Transistor scaling, given by Moore’s Law, is already down to gate lengths of 2 nm, with a further decrease at the horizon. This means that metrology, during and after the manufacturing process, i.e., the measurement of wafer positions in all dimensions, and the determination of layer thicknesses on the wafer, has to be known at all times within a fraction of that technology node. Moreover, this has to be done at high throughput.
To provide this accuracy, at high throughput, the vision of our industrial partner ASML is to use a parallel array of sensors, enabled by photonic integration, also known as optical chips. This can then be built into state of the art semiconductor manufacturing tools.
Photonic integrated circuits combine photonic components, such as lasers, photodetectors, modulators, waveguides and filters, on a single piece of semiconductor material. As such, a complete optical system can often be miniaturized into a small, cubic-centimeters-sized, package (see, e.g., this link: https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/0268-1242/29/8/083001). Optical chip based sensors are interesting, because they can be ultra-broadband, utilize vibration-free phase control, and are compact.
In this project, in collaboration with partners ASML and the University of Twente, we will develop a laser-based metrology sensor, with maximum control of the spatial and temporal coherence of light. Our approach is scalable over a broad range of wavelengths, i.e., multiple octaves. At TU/e we will be focusing on novel concepts to achieve this, and experimentally implement these in our leading indium phosphide based photonic integration platform.
As a PhD student, you will create, design and experimentally validate these new ideas for the ultimate control of light, with a wide application range, also beyond only metrology. Since Eindhoven is located in the heart of a leading semiconductor and photonics ecosystem, close collaboration with a variety of academic and industrial partners can be anticipated.
As a PhD student, you will be part of a dynamic and ambitious environment, with plenty of opportunities to develop yourself. Our Institute for Photonic Integration (IPI) at TU/e consists
of five closely-cooperating research groups, focusing on optical systems, photonic integration technology, materials research. You will be part of the Photonic Integration group (PhI) which has about 45 members, 20 of which are PhD students. Our laboratory facilities are extensive and state of the art.
We are searching for suitable candidate in anticipation of a grant agreement to be signed.
When official approval is received, we can definitively commit to hire the candidate.
Do you recognize yourself in this profile and would you like to know more? Please contact
prof. Martijn Heck (m.heck[at]tue.nl).
For information about terms of employment, click here or contact HR services Flux (HRServices.flux[at]tue.nl).
Please visit www.tue.nl/jobs to find out more about working at TU/e!
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