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

Integrated photonics enabling a completely new way of doing microscopy.




Electronics & Engineering

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.

What we do for you

We offer you the opportunity to join one of the world’s premier research centers in nanotechnology at its headquarters in Leuven, Belgium. With your talent, passion and expertise, you’ll become part of a team that makes the impossible possible. Together, we shape the technology that will define the society of tomorrow.

We are committed to being an inclusive employer (http://www.imec-int.com/en/careers#diversity) and proud of our open, multicultural, and informal working environment with ample possibilities to take initiative and show responsibility. In everything we do, your future colleagues are guided by the imec values of passion, excellence, connectedness and integrity. We commit to supporting and guiding you in this process; not only with words but also with tangible actions. Through imec.academy, 'our corporate university', we actively invest in your development to further your technical and personal growth. 

We are aware that your valuable contribution makes imec a top player in its field. Your energy and commitment are therefore appreciated by means of a competitive scholarship.

Who you are

  • A PhD in physics and engineering
  • Theoretical understanding of, and experience with, integrated photonics, wave optics, structured illumination techniques or image reconstruction algorithms is an asset
  • Hands-on experiences with advanced numerical simulation tools (Matlab, Python, Lumerical FDTD, Comsol, …)
  • Self-motivated, innovative, results driven, and a team-player
  • Good English language skills to work in imec’s international environment

This postdoctoral position is funded by imec through KU Leuven. Because of the specific financing statute which targets international mobility for postdocs, only candidates who did not stay or work/study in Belgium for more than 24 months in the past 3 years can be considered for the position (short stays such as holiday, participation in conferences, etc. are not taken into account).

Imec is the world-leading research and innovation hub in nanoelectronics and digital technologies. The combination of our widely acclaimed leadership in microchip technology and profound software and ICT expertise is what makes us unique. By leveraging our world-class infrastructure and local and global ecosystem of partners across a multitude of industries, we create groundbreaking innovation in application domains such as healthcare, smart cities and mobility, logistics and manufacturing, and energy.

As a trusted partner for companies, start-ups and universities we bring together 5,000 brilliant minds from over 90 nationalities. Imec is headquartered in Leuven, Belgium and also has distributed R&D groups at a number of Flemish universities, in the Netherlands, Taiwan, USA, China, and offices in India and Japan. All of these particular traits make imec to be a top-class employer. To strengthen this position as a leading player in our field, we are looking for those passionate talents that make the difference!

How can we help?

The Leuven MindGate team is at your disposal for any questions about the Leuven Innovation Region. Do you want to invest, work or study in the region? We can help you find your way.

We also facilitate collaboration and innovation between companies, knowledge institutes and government within the Leuven Innovation Region, and we are happy to guide any of these stakeholders towards innovation.