HTSM-NWO funding for physician Stefan Witte’s project

Stefan Witte, Associate Professor at VU Amsterdam’s department of Physics and group leader for the Advanced Research Center for Nanolithography (ARCNL), has obtained a position within the Dutch Research Council’s High Tech Systems and Materials programme with his project, ORPHEUS. The Dutch research funder provides grants to participants worth a grand total of 13 million euros.

02/06/2020 | 4:16 PM

Hidden nanostructures revealed
In project ORPHEUS, the physicist joins forces with research institute ARCNL and high-tech supplier ASML, a company that supplies machines for the development of chips. Together, the group investigates possible ways of using high-speed laser pulses to reveal structures under layers that do not allow light to pass through.

The laser pulses give extremely short ultra soundwaves making it possible to produce 3D images of a quality that is superior to what is possible using optical microscopes. As a result, this method has the potential to detect structures accurately to the nanometre under non-transparent layers (such as copper and aluminium). These nanostructures form the basis for the chips that can be found in various modern electronics: from smartphones to self-driving vehicles.

The HTSM programme challenges researchers and companies to jointly develop knowledge for technological breakthroughs and innovative applications. The annual call for the submission of proposals for the HTSM programme is organized by the Dutch Research Council’s Domain Applied and Engineering Sciences (TTW). This year, 22 projects will be launched within this programme.