Internship | MSc internship | Project/Thesis



Education type


Internship and graduation project

Hours a week

Fulltime – 40


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What will be your role?

Directing matter to create structures with atomic-level control of physical and chemical properties is a long sought-after goal in nanotechnology. The deposition of atoms at specific locations on a pre-patterned surface can boost advances in catalysis, energy harvesting, and semiconductor device fabrication. To fabricate advanced multilayered 3D devices with perfectly aligned features the current conventional manufacturing approach requires many lithography and etching steps (i.e. top-down). Innovative bottom-up techniques are required to replace or complement top-down fabrication schemes. One of the main emerging solutions is to implement self-aligned fabrication schemes, in which a material is deposited on a pre-determined area in a selective manner. Area-selective deposition can enable cost-effective options to create the above mentioned structures in a bottom-up approach.The focus of this research project is to investigate area-selective deposition of thin-films in a spatial-atomic layer deposition (ALD) mode for semiconductor device fabrication. ALD is a layer-by-layer deposition method that allows for atomic-level control over thickness and material properties, resulting in conformal and uniform deposition over large area and high aspect ratio substrates. Such unique features stem from the fact that, in the most simple case, ALD relies on cyclic and self-limiting chemical reactions between the substrate surface and alternating exposure to a precursor and co-reactant.TNO-Holst Centre has developed this technique as a high-rate deposition version of conventional time-sequenced ALD.4 The research objective is to find viable small molecule inhibitors that can be implemented for achieving high-selectivity as well as develop in-line etching correction processes to lower the defectivity. Central for this project is a good affinity for thin-film surface chemistry encompassing both cutting-edge deposition, pre-treatments and etching processes. The goal is to develop novel area-selective spatial ALD processes, etching correction steps and understand the underlying fundamentals.

The project will be carried out in collaboration with leading semiconductor manufacturer and equipment companies, where the aim is to develop novel area-selective spatial ALD processes. Depending on the pre-treatment, using small molecule inhibitors and the deposition chemistry, thin-film nucleation can be delayed only on specific target surfaces. This can be exploited to achieve area-selective ALD. In this project, you will use Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) to study the interaction of pre-selected chemicals with substrates that contain several pre-patterned surface coatings. This will serve as a starting point for studying and understanding the effect of such chemicals on the nucleation and growth behavior of nitrides and oxides on different starting substrates. You will help in designing ALD processes study the thickness evolution and monitor the process during deposition as well as etching of materials on different surfaces, using ex-situ spectroscopic ellipsometry (SE). Advanced characterization techniques such as transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and low energy ion spectroscopy (LEIS) can be conducted at our project partners site.

How do you want to contribute to tomorrow's world? How big can your impact be? Come and work at TNO and envision it.

What we expect from you

You are an ambitious master student with both scientific and practical skills looking for an internship or master thesis of 9 months. You have a chemistry or applied physics background, with knowledge in the fields of surface chemistry and thin-film deposition. You are pro-active, independent and a good team player. Good communication skills in English are expected.•Literature research on area-selective ALD and surface chemical modification
  • Perform deposition experiments and characterization measurements
  • Discuss and present the results internally as well as externally
  • Participate in group meetings, provide feed-back, discuss results, and propose solutions to various challenging aspects
  • Write technical internship report
  • Prepare presentations

What you’ll get in return

You want to work on the precursor of your career; a work placement gives you an opportunity to take a good look at your prospective future employer. TNO goes a step further. It’s not just looking that interests us; you and your knowledge are essential to our innovation. That’s why we attach a great deal of value to your personal and professional development. You will, of course, be properly supervised during your work placement and be given the scope for you to get the best out of yourself. Naturally, we provide suitable work placement compensation.

TNO as an employer

At TNO, we innovate for a healthier, safer and more sustainable life. And for a strong economy. Since 1932, we have been making knowledge and technology available for the common good. We find each other in wonder and ingenuity. We are driven to push boundaries. There is all the space and support for your talent and ambition. You work with people who will challenge you: who inspire you and want to learn from you. Our state-of-the-art facilities are there to realize your vision. What you do at TNO matters: impact makes the difference. Because with every innovation you contribute to tomorrow’s world. Read more about TNO as an employer.

The selection process

After the first CV selection, the application process will be conducted by the concerning department. TNO will provide a suitable internship agreement. If you have any questions about this vacancy, you can contact the contact person mentioned below.

Due to Covid-19 and the consequent uncertainties and restrictions, students who are not residing in the Netherlands may currently not be able to start an internship or graduation project at TNO.

Has this job opening sparked your interest?

Then we’d like to hear from you! Please contact us for more information about the job or the selection process. To apply, please upload your CV and covering letter using the ‘apply now’ button.

Contact: Alfredo Mameli
Phone number: +31 (0)6 875 05029

Note that applications via email and third party applications are not taken into consideration.


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