Postdoc on High-throughput chip-based fluorescence microscopy using photonic integrated circuits

Leuven, Belgium
07 Mar 2023
End of advertisement period
01 Apr 2023
Contract Type
Full Time

Integrated photonics enabling a completely new way of doing microscopy.

What you will do

Within imec’s Life Science Technologies department, our group’s R&D activities focus on the development of novel tools for diagnostic health care applications. We are looking for a motivated PhD or postdoc to join us to work on high-resolution imaging using integrated photonics.

Fluorescence microscopy is an indispensable tool in biology and medicine and has fuelled many breakthroughs in a wide set of sub-domains. The microscopes, however, are often bulky and expensive systems that require regular maintenance. Additionally, they need to strike a compromise between device size, the size of the field of view, and resolution.

The next big push in microscopy with a large societal impact will come from compact, cost-effective, and robust optical systems that will make fluorescence microscopy highly accessible. 

At imec, within the framework of an ERC starting grant, we are working on facilitating this next breakthrough by introducing a novel high-resolution imaging platform based entirely on an intimate marriage of active on-chip photonics and CMOS image sensors. This concept will eliminate the necessity of standard free-space optical components by integrating specially designed structured optical illumination, illumination modulation, optical filters, and an image sensor in a single chip. The way the sample is illuminated is analogues to total internal reflection fluorescence (TIRF) microscopy, which has excellent surface sensitivity and background suppression. The resulting platform will enable high-resolution, fast, robust, zero-maintenance, and inexpensive microscopy with applications reaching from cellomics to DNA sequencing, proteomics, and highly parallelized optical biosensors.

Your primary goal is to further mature the concept and platform. Your work consists of establishing a system model including image reconstruction, the design and characterization of photonic components, and finally, proof of concept demonstrations.

The fabrication of the photonic integrated circuits will be carried out in imec’s semiconductor pilot line, and during the entire design/fabrication cycle you will closely interact with process integration engineers. The characterization will be carried out in imec’s life lab, where you will work together with an international, multidisciplinary team of PhDs and senior researchers.

EU funding framework: H2020 / ERC