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Postdoc: Area-selective atomic layer deposition using small inhibitors molecules

Postdoc: Area-selective atomic layer deposition using small inhibitors molecules

(Postdoctoraal) onderzoeker
Applied Physics



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 vapor-phase dosing of small 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 be 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 be 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. The postdoc is a 2-year position intended to start from ~November 2020 or as soon as possible after that, and can potentially be extended beyond two years.


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.



We are looking for a talented and motivated candidate with a background 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. Experience with surface functionalization or thin film synthesis would be an asset. 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 BSs, MSc and PhD students.

Job Requirements

  • PhD in Chemistry, Chemical Engineering, Material Science, (Applied) Physics, or a comparable domain.
  • Ability to conduct high quality academic research, demonstrated for instance by a relevant PhD thesis and/or publication(s).
  • Ability to teach, shown by experience or assistance in teaching and positive evaluations of these teaching efforts.
  • Excellent mastering of the English language, good communication and leadership skills. Note that there is no Dutch language requirement.
  • Be a team player and able to work in a dynamic, interdisciplinary context.


  • A meaningful job in a dynamic and ambitious university with the possibility to present your work at international conferences.
  • A full-time employment for 2 years.
  • You will have free access to high-quality training programs for research and valorization, professional development courses for PhD students, and didactical courses of the TEACH training program.
  • A gross monthly salary between € 3.353,- and € 4.402,- (on a fulltime basis), depending on experience and knowledge.
  • Benefits in accordance with the Collective Labor Agreement of the Dutch Universities.
  • 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.

Informatie en sollicitatie

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 now'-button on this page.

For information about terms of employment, please contact our HR department: hrservices.flux[at]

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.
  • 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.