Fluorescent microscopy is an indispensable tool in biology and medicine and has fueled many break-throughs in a wide set of sub-domains. Recently there is a strong push towards improving the resolution of fluorescent imaging techniques, as they are intrinsically limited by the diffraction limit. Indeed, superresolution techniques have emerged in the last decades and have been awarded already with the Nobel prize in 2014. Yet, these superresolution techniques are still based on bulky optical setups, are hence expensive. Moreover, the commonly used techniques suffer as well from slow operation. Imec has been working on on-chip implementation of bulk optic systems and components, through the use of nanophotonic waveguides. Using these waveguides, we have full control of phase, amplitude and polarization of both guided and projected light. We have shown that we can excite and detect fluorescence of fluorophores located in the evanescent field of the waveguide or at an arbritary position above the waveguide surface.
The goal of this PhD is to develop a novel superresolution imaging platform based on on-chip photonics. You will work on several schemes that exhibit a tight control of the phase and amplitude of waveguided light and apply this to already established imaging techniques. A thorough literature study will be a first step to investigate different device concepts, explore their limits and potential and identify promising new avenues. Following steps will be the design and validation of these new devices using simulations and overall system calculations, layout and fabrication of test structures and finally of first prototypes.
Required background: physics, electrical engineering, material sciences or related
Type of work: 10% literature study, 60% design, simulation, modeling & algorithm development, 30% fabrication, characterization and measurement
Supervisor: Pol Van Dorpe
Daily advisor: Niels Verellen
The reference code for this PhD position is SE1712-21. Mention this reference code on your application form.