Chemistry under extreme UV-light

24 September 2016

In a new international project named ELENA a total of 15 young researchers will investigate the chemistry and physics involved in emerging techniques for the creation of nanostructures. One of the researchers will be working in the research group of Fred Brouwer at ARCNL, the Dutch Advanced Research Center for Nanolithography. Brouwer is professor of Spectroscopy and Photonic Materials at the University of Amsterdam’s Van ‘t Hoff Institute for Molecular Sciences (HIMS).

ELENA, an acronym for low energy ELEctron driven chemistry for the advances of emerging NAno-fabrication methods, was recently awarded an Innovative Training Networks grant funded by the EU Marie Sklodowska-Curie actions. It establishes the collaboration between 14 European research organizations and companies, including ARCNL and UvA/HIMS.

Largely unknown chemistry

Fred Brouwer, professor Spectroscopy and photonic materials

Professor Fred Brouwer. Photo by Jeroen Oerlemans.

The Amsterdam part of ELENA concerns the development and application of laser spectroscopy to  establish what happens in materials immediately after absorption of extreme ultraviolet (EUV) light (which has a wavelength of only 13.5 nanometer). The obtained knowledge will enable the researchers to improve photoresist materials for the EUV application, which is key to the next generation of nanolithography technology.

Interestingly, the chemistry induced by radiation with the EUV light is largely unknown. 'This results in exciting research both from a fundamental and a practical point of view' says Fred Brouwer. Brouwer heads the ARCNL group for Nanophotochemistry in combination with his research in the Molecular Photonics group at HIMS.


The Advanced Research Center for Nanolithography is a public-private partnership between the University of Amsterdam, the VU University Amsterdam, the Foundation for Fundamental Research on Matter (FOM, part of the Dutch research organization NWO), and ASML, the world leader in the production of the lithography machines that define the structures of processor and memory chips for computers, tablets and smartphones. ARCNL combines the best of both worlds: the academic focus on scientific excellence and ASML’s focus on a well-defined application area.

Published by  HIMS