Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Netherlands: PhD Position on Motion in Vacuum by Elastic Mechanisms and Tribology (MOV-ET), University of Twente

09/088 – PhD for a project entitled: MOV-ET: Motion in Vacuum by Elastic mechanisms and Tribology

In High Tech Systems Industries, mechatronical devices for accurate and reliable positioning in vacuum become increasingly important. Movement in vacuum required specific solutions for the moving parts. The usage of lubricants is often not desired for reasons of reliability and pollution of optical components in the vacuum. Therefore other solutions are required. Two options are:
1.Non-contaminating systems like elastic mechanisms
2.Systems with controllable friction and wear.

Elastic mechanisms are researched by
1.a PhD student in the Mechanical Automation Group and Systems and with controllable friction and wear by a PhD student in the Surface Technology and Tribology Group.

Position 2) is the open PhD position.

Because friction in systems is not constant in space and time, accurate positioning and movement of sliding systems is difficult. This unpredictable behaviour is an important reason that limits the development of systems which are required for products with high accuracy (sub-micron). More specific, static friction is one of the reasons that systems cannot be positioned accurately. Further, the fact that friction is not constant, combined with the stiffness and damping properties of the system, can result in friction inducted vibrations (stick-slip). Another aspect is that wear causes surface changes in the track. This also affects the stability of the frictional behaviour in time and because of this also the positioning accuracy.

In the research, the friction and wear behaviour will be studied using a special setup operating in vacuum. It is anticipated that also PEEM (Photoemission Electron Microscopy) will play a role to analyse the wear track. The research is partially experimental in nature using modern analysis equipment. Besides this, design of (parts) of the experimental setup as well modelling aspects will be a part of the work.

The research is a first step into the development of smart surfaces using active piezo layers with the aim to modify the topography of a surface by external signals.

Partners in this project are DEMCON, ASML, FEI, TNO Science and Industry, Philips Applied Technologies, Vision Dynamics and the Research group of Mechanical Automation of the faculty of Engineering Technology.


We are looking for a highly motivated, enthusiastic and fluently English speaking researcher with an MSc degree in mechanical engineering, applied physics or equivalent, with adequate experimental and theoretical skills and affinity with tribology and vacuum systems.

We are looking for candidates with good team spirit, who like to work in an internationally oriented environment.


We offer a scientific education on a multidisciplinary subject. The assignment is for 4 years, with a go/no-go assessment at the end of the first year. The candidates are expected to finish the project with a PhD thesis and disseminate the results through patents (if applicable), publications in peer-reviewed journals and presentations at international conferences. Your starting salary will be € 2042, – in the first year and will lead up to € 2612, – gross per month in the last year.

Information and application

For more information, please contact: M.B. de Rooij, (telephone number *31 53 489 1178 e- mail or D.J. Schipper (telephone number *31 053 489 2469 e-mail : )

If you are interested in this position, please send your application with a motivation letter and your CV to: If you are not able to respond by e-mail you may also send your application by regular post to Universiteit Twente, P&O Engineering Technology, Postbus 217 7500 AE Enschede.

Please mention vacancy number 09/088.


Please kindly mention when applying for this scholarship

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Scholarship Team: Ph.D Scholar Krisstofferson Joniel Scholarship Adviser, PhD Scholar Chea Vitom Scholarship Adviser and Senior Lecturer, PhD Scholar Rebecca T. Dalisay Scholarship Adviser, Ph.D Student Jiao Wang Scholarship Coordinator, MSc Student Dennise Maricel Scholarship Coordinator