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  2. Universiteit Twente (UT)
  3. PhD – Research position on Physics of radiation induced damage of thin films

PhD – Research position on Physics of radiation induced damage of thin films

We are looking for a motivated and skilled PhD researcher to work on exploring the fundamentals of light-matter interaction at high intensity in the context …

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Drienerlolaan, Enschede, Overijssel
Tijdelijk contract / Tijdelijke opdracht
Uren per week:
38 - 38 uur
€ 2972 per maand


We are looking for a motivated and skilled PhD researcher to work on exploring the fundamentals of light-matter interaction at high intensity in the context of radiation damage.

A rapid increase of the power of XUV and X-ray sources, being extremely desired for their practical application, may cause damage to vital optical components of the setups. In order to understand the mechanisms of damage and predict the lifetime of various components, one needs an accurate theoretical model of light-matter interaction to be developed and experimentally verified.

In our group, in collaboration with other academic institutes, we are developing a hybrid model of ultrashort laser pulse interaction with thin films using a combined Monte Carlo, hydrodynamic, molecular dynamic (MD) and density functional theory (DFT) approach. Recently, the model was successfully applied to study the damage produced in ruthenium thin films by different radiation sources.

Damage crater produced in a ruthenium thin film by an EUV femtosecond free electron laser and the corresponding simulation results.

Your task will be to (i) develop the existing modelling for new, yet unexplored combinations of materials and irradiation conditions and (ii) improve the existing solutions beyond the current limits of their applicability. The goal is to identify and understand the physical processes that may eventually lead to damage. Within this frame, the research will contain computational studies, initiation and analysis of experiments in collaboration with various scientific groups and experimental facilities worldwide.

The project will be carried under the umbrella of the Industrial Focus Group XUV Optics where a new multidisciplinary research program on growth, characterization and application of thin film devices, primarily for optical application, has started. We develop forefront fundamental research, relevant to high tech applications (www.utwente.nl/xuv/). The research will take place in a state-of-the-art thin film laboratory within the MESA+ Institute for Nanotechnology at the University of Twente, in collaboration with various industrial partners.


  • You have, or are about to get, a master’s degree in solid state or surface physics, optics, materials science or a related field;
  • You have a solid background in physics simulations using programming languages such as Fortran, C++, Python or Matlab;
  • You are familiar with numerical methods in mathematics and physics, such as finite difference and finite element methods;
  • Experience with MD or DFT simulations is highly appreciated;
  • You are an excellent team player in an enthusiastic group of scientists and engineers working on a joint assignment;
  • You are creative, like to push boundaries, and are highly motivated to address major science challenges in light-matter interaction physics;
  • You are fluent in English and able to collaborate intensively with industrial and academic parties in regular meetings and work visits;


Your reaction should include an application/motivation letter, emphasizing your specific interest and motivation, a detailed CV, a publication list, contact details of referees, and an academic transcript of B.Sc. and M.Sc. education. An interview and a scientific presentation will be part of the selection procedure.

For more information about the position, you are encouraged to contact Dr. Eric Louis at e.louis@utwente.nl, +31 53 4894378 and Dr. Igor A. Makhotkin at i.makhotkin@utwente.nl +31 53 4891172.


You will be appointed on a fulltime position for four years. The university offers a dynamic ecosystem with enthusiastic colleagues in a stimulating scientific environment. The PhD salary is € 2.325,- euro in the first year and increases to € 2.972,- euro in the fourth year. The offer further involves: a holiday allowance of 8% of the gross annual salary and a year-end bonus of 8.3%.


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