Author profile picture

The battle for the best technical talents sometimes requires creative solutions. And then it’s not always about big-bigger-biggest, as is evident from ASML’s latest campaign. To attract German electrical engineers, mechanical engineers, physicists, software developers and mathematicians, the Veldhoven chip machine company placed a very tiny advertisement. So tiny even, that it cannot be seen with the naked eye.

But for students of the RWTH Aachen today a microscope is available to read the message, printed at exactly 33.27 by 7.76 micrometres: ‘To truly go small, you have to think big’. The Rheinisch-Westfälische Technische Hochschule (RWTH) in Aachen is one of the largest technical universities in Europe.

“With our smallest advertisement we welcome students into the world of nanolithography”, says Hank Oosterbaan, head of ASML’s global labour market communication. “Our chip machines, the size of a city bus, bring together advanced mechatronics, optics and software. This enables our customers to control their chip production process down to the last nanometer. We are a technology company with a major role in the global chip industry, but these students may never have heard of us.”

At the same time, ASML is growing fast to develop tomorrow’s technology, says Oosterbaan: “We expect to create around 3,500 jobs this year. The majority of these jobs will be at our R&D campus in Veldhoven, just over an hour’s drive from Aachen. We are looking for starting engineers and professionals to help develop our technology.”

(story continues below the video)


The smallest advertisement is officially recognized as a world record by the Guinness World Records organization. The ad has a total area of 258 square micrometres and also includes a special hashtag that RWTH students can use on social media. This gives them a chance to win back their tuition fees for the year 2018-2019. The advertisement was made using an immersion lithography system in the cleanroom on ASML’s campus in Veldhoven.

The recruitment campaign will, after its launch at the RWTH Aachen, also be found at other technical universities in Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium.

Read the whole story of ASML’s record attempt here