Enjoy perfecting ultra-extreme-precision optics systems

Why working in ASML optics is the ideal job for you:

  • Discover and invent
  • More than ray tracing
  • Extremely short wavelength

Imagine perfecting an optical system where aberrations are kept to within one thousandth of the wavelength used. One where 200kg reflectors must be positioned to within an accuracy of less than one nanometer. And then repositioned every second to compensate for millikelvin fluctuations.

Imagine using a sensitivity matrix with multiple thousands of elements to calculate how to reposition those mirrors. And imagine working with a highly motivated team, dedicated to perfecting this extreme-precision instrumentation and optical system.

If you enjoy working at (and beyond) the edge of what is possible in optics, ASML is your ideal environment.

Optics in ASML

ASML is the world's leading provider of lithography systems for the semiconductor industry. Our machines use Deep Utraviolet (DUV) and Extreme Ultraviolet (EUV) light which have 193 and 13.5 nm wavelengths respectively. The necessary degree of control accuracy is so extreme and the instrumentation needed to enable that control is so complex, that ASML optics engineers need expertise in many other fields. Colleagues in physics, mechatronics, electronics, software, thermal engineering and dynamics all share their knowledge to help each other innovate.

  • Discover and invent

The optics in an ASML lithography machine must be controlled extremely accurately – to within a nanometer, in fact. Hence, the projected beam will be affected by many different parameters. It will be your job to understand how vibration, temperature fluctuation, chemical contamination and more affect the projection of Extreme Ultraviolet (EUV) and Deep Ultraviolet (DUV) light. And it will be your job to invent ways to prevent and/or compensate for those parameter changes. Hence you will develop a holistic knowledge of the entire machine – not just its optics. And since these machines are possibly the most complex ever imagined, this is a discovery opportunity like no other.

  • More than ray tracing

Optics engineering at ASML goes beyond the capabilities of ray tracing (a technique that mathematically identifies and reproduces the path of a light ray). At ASML, optics engineers use ZEMAX and MATLAB and manipulate sensitivity matrices with over 300 degrees of freedom. They stay involved in the implementation of the optical design in hardware and control algorithms, all the way up to the successful application in the system in a customer fab.

  • Extremely short wavelength

EUV lithography uses a wavelength of just 13.5 nm, and this has its own exotic challenges such as researching how this light reacts to all the different materials in and around the optical path. In addition, because the wavelength is so short, all optical surfaces have to be 1-2 orders of magnitude more accurate than optics at more conventional wavelengths, in order to get the same level of imaging quality. On top of all that, EUV light has to travel in vacuum, as it would be absorbed by air or other gases. In our projection optics we have to be able to control and manipulate the wavefront of the EUV light in order to be able to nm-accurately project it on the right spot on the wafer.

Our offer
Are you ready for an excitingly steep learning curve? ASML Optics Engineers need expertise in fields such as mechatronics, electronics, thermal engineering, dynamics and more. So for the first 18 months, you’ll go through an excitingly steep learning curve – one that will give you an impressive new multifaceted skill set.

What makes working in Optics at ASML so special?

Proud to be part of progress

At ASML we believe that technology is a force for good. It connects us, whoever and wherever we are in the world, and it changes how we live, work and play. Headquartered in Brainport Eindhoven, The Netherlands (Google Maps), ASML is the world's leading provider of lithography systems for the semiconductor industry. We make the tools for a critical manufacturing step, defining the structures that form the electrical circuits on a chip. We provide chipmakers with everything they need to mass produce patterns on silicon. 

Our key technology is the lithography system, which brings together high-tech hardware and advanced software to control the chip manufacturing process down to the picometer. Delivering new functionalities, better performance and lower cost with each generation, advances in chips have spawned new products and transformed industries. All of the world's top chipmakers like Samsung, Intel and TSMC use our technology, enabling the waves of innovation that help tackle the world's toughest challenges.

We are proud of the impact our achievements have on the world around us. We are proud to be part of progress.

Optics Design Engineer/Scientist
I feel I am adding value as a scientist. At ASML we push the boundaries of what is technologically possible and with my input, I help to make the difference. Our ideas become reality in the shape of a product. Rosalinda Gaudio, Optics Design Engineer

What are the requirements?

If you are a physicist with a system-wide view, you will certainly enjoy working here.

You have studied for example:

  • experimental physics
  • applied physics
  • mathematical physics
  • solid state physics
  • chemical physics
  • atomic physics.

Also, many of our team members have a background in other engineering fields, like:

  • mechatronics
  • electronics
  • software
  • thermal engineering
  • thermal dynamics
  • material science
  • industrial engineering.

Read more

  • Extreme Ultraviolet (EUV) lithography. What is it? How does it work? And why does it matter? Brush up on your knowledge in this 5-minute backgrounder about the technology that will help enable the devices of tomorrow.
  • Introducing EUV lithography technology is one of the biggest technology transitions that the semiconductor industry has ever undertaken.
  • More light, higher productivity. Converting plasma into EUV light.
The full optical light path inside our NXE3400 system

The full optical light path inside our extreme ultraviolet lithography machine

Take a look at the inner workings of our extreme ultraviolet lithography machine as you follow the full light path from source to wafer. The light is generated in the EUV source (bottom right), sent into the illuminator (mid right) which controls the light beam, reflects off the mask with the chip pattern (top), before being focused in the projection optics (mid left) and exposing the silicon wafer (mid bottom).



  • 23,247 employees
  • € 10.9 billion net sales
  • 60 offices in 16 countries
  • € 2.6 billion net income
  • 123 different nationalities
  • € 1.5 billion research & development spending

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