Industry-hosted projects

Interested students are encouraged to first discuss their interest with the Master Mentor for PhI,
Dr. Erwin Bente (Use this link for more details).

Internships are a highly effective way for students to gain work experience before graduation. We can arrange interviews for internships with our international industry partners for high-performing students in the Bachelor College program. 

A typical internship will last for 3-4 month. Students have recently taken internships at Oclaro (UK), Fraunhofer Institute (DE) and NTT (JP).

If interested, you should send your CVs and course grades to the PhI secretariaat (secretariaat.phi@tue.nl)

Please find more information about an external project at:

Oclaro, EFFECT Photonics or SMART Photonics  at your left hand side.

Graduation project at PhI Group/ASML: Simultaneous strain and temperature fibre-based sensing using a laser based readout system

Track:       Connected world
Group:      PhI
Mentors: Dr Erwin Bente and Stefanos Andreou

Background: Strain and temperature sensing and their real time monitoring are important for many applications. In particular for ASML lithography machines the wafer stages accelerate really fast and suffer small deformations which degrade the exposure quality. Lasers and Fibre Bragg Gratings (FBGs) are the two enabling tools for building such a sensing systems. Integrated lasers in particular and photonic integration in general are interesting because they can significantly reduce size and cost. The Photonic Integration group (PHI) develops InP based photonic integration technology by which lasers, photodetectors, amplifiers, splitters and other components can be monolithically integrated on a chip. FBGs are optical resonators inside an optical fibre. These are used as the transducers for detecting the desired strain and temperature since these shift their optical resonance frequency which can be monitored using a laser system. However, a well-known problem is the distinction between strain and thermal effects (often referred to as cross-sensitivity) which diminishes the system’s performance and resolution.

Brief system description and objective:  In this project in collaboration with ASML the sensing system will use an integrated continuous wave ring laser the wavelength of which is locked to a π-shifted FBG using the so called Pound-Drever-Hall (PDH) frequency stabilization technique. PDH is a technique which uses the reflection of phase modulated light off an optical resonator structure (the FBG) to detect any wavelength drifts of the laser away from the optical resonance. This signal is used in an electrical feedback circuit that controls the laser frequency such that it stays at the optical resonance. The laser is thus locked to the FBG resonance and by applying axial strain or changing the temperature the resonance shifts and the wavelength of the laser as well. This wavelength can be measured accurately and the shift allows one to calculate back the strain or temperature change. The main objective of the project is to evaluate how well the strain and temperature effects can be decoupled. Different strategies can be deployed to perform this decoupling but in this project we would like to investigate mainly the one based on birefringent FBGs and polarisation diversity.

Final Master project (9 months) at PhI group/ASML: Integrated Optical Alignment sensor for Electronic IC production

Track: Connected World
Group: PhI
Project: Graduation project (afstudeerproject)

ASML builds the machines which underpin modern electronics. Integrated Circuits are produced by a lithographic process on semiconductor wafers. These wafers need to be positioned with sub-nanometer tolerances on accuracy during the fabrication. Today the metrology uses diffractive optics, but there are a number of compelling reasons to implement precision metrology with integrated photonics in terms of size, weight and performance. Together with the PhI group, ASML is exploring methods to leverage photonic IC technology to make high performance optical sensors which can be placed within fabrication equipment such as the latest generation of TwinScan lithography tools.

Final Master project (9 months):
The project will explore the use of photonic integrated circuits to illuminate and detect light from diffractive elements (phase gratings) on semiconductor wafers to make accurate measurements of in-plane position. This will exploit the phase, coherence and polarization of light in combination with integrated interferometers to explore the most promising design concepts for measuring absolute position in a non-contact manner.

This feasibility study will use a combination of photonic CAD tools to create focusing surface grating apertures to couple light from a photonic IC to the surface of the wafer and to combine with receive circuitry to evaluate the backscattered diffracted light. Differences in phase and polarization will be used to determine the position. Designs will be developed to study the dynamic range and suitability of the design concepts to photonic IC platforms. A particular focus will be on the optimum aperture sizes and the range of operation for typical metrology features on the semiconductor wafer.

Application details:
Interested master students should contact prof. Kevin Williams (k.a.williams@tue.nl) or dr. Erwin Bente (e.a.j.m.bente@tue.nl), enclosing a CV and an overview of their exams, with marks.

This is a 9 month project based primarily at the TU/e within PhI group. The project will be supervised by dr. Erwin Bente and dr. Irwan Setija, ASML. The student will spend at least one day a week at ASML to learn more on the existing metrology equipment.

Final master project (9 months) at Phi group/ASML: Photonics-based position measurement at sub-nanometer scale. Metrology for Semiconductor IC fabrication

Track: Connected World
Group: PhI
Project: graduation project (afstudeerproject)

ASML builds the machines which underpin modern electronics. Semiconductor wafers require lithography at the nanometer scale and need to be positioned with ever smaller tolerances on accuracy during the fabrication. Today the position metrology is based on an optical sensor built using bulk optical components, but there are a number of compelling reasons to implement precision metrology with integrated photonics in terms of size, weight and performance. Together with PhI group, ASML is exploring methods to leverage photonic IC technology to make high performance optical sensors which can be placed within fabrication equipment such as the latest generation of TWINSCANä lithography tools.

Final master project (9 months)

The project will explore the use of photonic integrated circuits to measure differences in position between two nanostructured patterns. The first pattern is a dedicated metrology feature (such as a reflective grating) on a metrology frame. The second pattern is a dedicated and complimentary feature (such as a transmission grating) within the wafer table which is used to position the wafer during the manufacturing process. The positioning of the wafer with respect to the imaging system (lens) must be known with sub-nanometer precision during the fabrication process.

This study will use a combination of photonic CAD tools to optimize the metrology features in the metrology frame and wafer table so as to enable high resolution positional accuracy by means of a photonic integrated circuit embedded within the table carrying structure. Designs will be created for a photonic IC without direct electronic or photonic connections to the wafer table to launch and receive light which is diffracted through the double patterned element. A design methodology will be devised to identify grating positions and dedicated metrology features for patterns enabling the measurement of offsets. Options for on-chip laser sources and balanced detectors will be studied.

Application details:
Interested master students should contact prof. Kevin Williams (k.a.williams@tue.nl) or dr. Erwin Bente (e.a.j.m.bente@tue.nl), enclosing a CV and an overview of their exams, with marks.
This is a 9 month project based primarily at the TU/e within PhI group and at ASML on site. The project will be supervised by dr. Erwin Bente and prof. Hans Vermeulen, ASML.