Diamond is forever?

At the Advanced Research Center for Nanolithography (ARCNL) we carry out exciting fundamental physics research at the highest possible level with relevance to key technologies in nanolithography. We contribute to the production of ever smarter and smaller electronics, while at the same time pushing the boundaries of our fundamental insight into the workings of nature.

The research field of tribology, devoted to contact formation, friction and wear phenomena down to the atomic scale, is of direct and pressing relevance to the manufacture of semiconductor devices. Friction-induced stresses and deformations on the scale of only a few atomic spacings are starting to challenge the future of nanolithography technology, limiting the achievable feature size in semiconductor chips.

In this project, you will investigate the wear process of Diamond surfaces at the nanoscale. In particular, you will investigate the hypothesis that the wear of the Diamond, when contacted against SiN, is driven by an atomic scale wear process that involves corrosion of the diamond surface. To do so, you will perform a combination of atomic force microscopy topography measurements, macroscale wear experiments in a controlled environment and XPS characterization. 


1.        Leriche et al. Wear 498–499, 204284 (2022).

2.        Hsia et al. Tribol. Int. 142, 105983 (2020).

3.        Jacobs et al. Nat. Nanotech.8, 108-112 (2013).

4.       Hsia et al. Phys. Rev. Res. 3, 043204 (2021).


About the group

You will be embedded in the Contact Dynamics team at ARCNL but will also be closely associated with the University of Amsterdam and ASML, the world leading manufacturer of high tech lithography machines for chip making.

Terms of employment

At the start of the traineeship your trainee plan will be set out, in consultation with your ARCNL supervisor, including a small allowance.

Contact info

For more info or other projects in the Contact Dynamics group contact:

Bart Weberl: b.weber@arcnl.nl