PhD in Electron-Excitation Fluorescence Superresolution

Department/faculty: Applied Sciences
Level: Master degree
Working hours: 38 hours per week
Contract: 4 years
Salary: €2191 to €2801

Applied Sciences

The Faculty of Applied Sciences is the largest faculty of TU Delft, with around 550 scientists, a support staff of 250 and 1,800 students. The faculty conducts fundamental, application-oriented research and offers scientific education at the bachelor, master and doctoral levels. The faculty is active in the fields of Life and Health Science & Technology, Nanoscience, Chemical Engineering, Radiation Science & Technology, and Applied Physics.

The Faculty of Applied Sciences of the TU Delft has a strong programme in Imaging Physics in which new instrumentation and new methods are developed for microscopy and medical imaging. The Imaging Physics programme has led to innovations in electron microscopy, lithography, light microscopy, ultrasound imaging, terahertz imaging, focused ion beam milling, and many quantitative image processing methods. Most of the instruments in the lab are prototypes with unique functionalities. Instrumentation development is done in collaboration with scientific and industrial users for evaluation and first scientific observations. We are looking for one PhD student to strengthen our team.

We invent, develop, and implement new methods and techniques for multi-scale, multi-modal microscopy. Our starting point is uncompromised integration of light and electron microscopy into a single instrument. This allows us to generate light microscopy signals with focused electron beams and to do electron microscopy guided by light. We actively strive for application of our techniques in biological and biomedical sciences, as well as nanoscience and nanophotonics. We also advance our fundamental understanding of interactions between electrons, photons, and molecules to further develop new techniques for imaging.

Job description

Over the past few years, so-called superresolution fluorescence microscopy techniques have evolved tremendously: fluorescence labelled bio-molecules can now be localised with resolution far below the diffraction limit. However, with these techniques it is only the labelled molecules that are visible and thus the surrounding, unlabelled, cellular structure is invisible. Cellular structure can be measured with nanometre-resolution using electron microscopy, but precise correlation of superresolution fluorescence and electron microscopy data is highly challenging and limited by the very specific preparation protocols needed. In this project, we will take a radically different approach: we will use electrons to excite fluorescence from labelled bio-molecules. The fluorescence emission is then detected with a light microscope integrated inside an SEM. Contrary to previous approaches which used high-energy electron beams that led to fluorescence degradation, we will move to very low electron landing energies (a few eV) to reach near-resonant excitation. Simultaneous light-excited fluorescence, i.e. during electron irradiation, will be used to reveal details of electron-molecule interactions beyond the scale of what has been achieved so far. This will in turn lead to further optimisation of both irradiation conditions and molecular or fluorescent protein structures to enable fluorescence microscopy with electron beams.
The successful candidate will work with the integrated microscope to investigate electron-irradiation of fluorescent molecules.


Applicants should hold an MSc degree in experimental/applied physics or chemistry with a strong experimental background. Experience with fluorescence and/or electron microscopy is strongly preferred. The successful candidate easily communicates with scientists from other disciplines. He or she also has a hands-on mentality, has a good command of the English language, and easily and actively collaborates with other scientists.

Conditions of employment

The TU Delft offers a customisable compensation package, a discount for health insurance and sport memberships, and a monthly work costs contribution. Flexible work schedules can be arranged. An International Children’s Centre offers child care and an international primary school. Dual Career Services offers support to accompanying partners. Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities.
As a PhD candidate you will be enrolled in the TU Delft Graduate School. The TU Delft Graduate School provides an inspiring research environment; an excellent team of supervisors, academic staff and a mentor; and a Doctoral Education Programme aimed at developing your transferable, discipline-related and research skills. Please visit for more information.

Information and application

For more information about this position, please contact J.P. Hoogenboom, phone: +31 (0)15-2785920, e-mail: Applications should include a CV, a half-page (A4) letter of application, and the name of at least one reference with your application. Applications should be addressed to Mrs. Anjella van Vliet, This vacancy will remain open until a suitable candidate has been found.
When applying for this position, please refer to vacancy number TNWIP17-014.

Enquiries from agencies are not appreciated.


Applied Sciences
Master degree
Working hours
4 years
€2191 to €2801

Closing date
June 1, 2017
Vacancy nr.


For more information about this job, please contact J.P. Hoogenboom, Assistant Professor.

T +31 (0)15-2785920

For more information about the application procedure, please contact J.T. van Vliet/Imaging Physics.