PhD position at TU Delft: Simulation of Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) Images

Electron microscopy is at the heart of innovations and applications on the nanoscale in a wide range of sectors. The technology is, for instance, used in the semiconductor industry to observe engineered nanodevices, as well as for medical applications like cancer research. The major challenge of using a scanning electron microscope (SEM) is to correctly interpret the images created by the tool. The formation of these images depends on how the electron beam interacts with the composition and topology of the samples. Your challenge as a PhD student at TU Delft is to further develop and program models that will enable simulation of such SEM images. You will work closely with our partner ASML, leveraging fundamental research to improve nanoscale electronic device manufacturing.

To ensure truly reliable, high-resolution measurements, it is crucial to understand the physics of the image formation in a SEM. You will build on existing models (Nebula), embedding the comprehensive physics of electron beam scattering in substrates and semiconductor devices. One of the key phenomena you will focus on, is image artifacts caused by charges accumulated on sample surfaces. Having developed your models, you will translate them into software programs and conduct simulations. You will get the unique opportunity to compare experimental and simulated SEM images, using real SEMs to evaluate your models. As part of your role, you will write scientific articles and attend leading international conferences. In addition, you will mentor bachelor and master students, and supervise tutorials, exercise classes and labs.

At TU Delft, you will join the 40-strong, internationally diverse Microscopy Instrumentation and Technology group in the Department of Imaging Physics. Your colleagues are assistant and associate professors, postdocs, fellow PhD students, lecturers and the technicians who are responsible for our high-tech equipment. We foster a welcoming, supportive and social atmosphere, and will help you feel at home quickly. Being a multidisciplinary group, we enjoy exchanging knowledge and ideas. We share the drive to conduct fundamental research to develop and improve next-gen instruments, for which we harness our combined expertise in physics, electronics and software technology. You will get extensive training to learn to use SEMs as well as the DelftBlue supercomputer. In addition, you will get all the education and coaching you need to build your career in research. 

Learn more about the Department of Imaging Physics or watch the video for a sneak preview of the facility and team. 

More details about the position is available at

Applications are accepted until 15 October.