/Expansion of the theory of incoherent image formation in lens-free systems

Expansion of the theory of incoherent image formation in lens-free systems

Leuven | More than two weeks ago

Improve the theoretical understanding of incoherent (fluorescence) image formation, to enable the design of scalable lens-free fluorescence microscopy platforms for biomedical applications.

Fluorescence microscopy is a powerful tool for studying cells and microorganisms, but current systems are bulky and expensive, posing limitations on size, field of view, and resolution. The next advancement in microscopy aims to address these challenges by developing compact, cost-effective, and robust optical systems. While high-resolution coherent lens-free imaging techniques have shown promise, they are not applicable to fluorescence microscopy, an incoherent imaging technique. Recent developments have demonstrated the potential of achieving lens-free incoherent imaging with a detection mask, albeit with limited resolution.


At imec, we are working on the development of a high-resolution fluorescence imaging approach that relies on the use of structured illumination to increase the resolution achieved by modern lens-free incoherent imaging platforms. However, due to the novelty of the field, most of the theoretical approaches to the image formation process rely on intuitive and heuristic formulations to describe it.


We are searching for a master student, interested in improving our theoretical understanding of the incoherent lens-free image formation process. The theoretical models derived during the thesis will be very helpful in defining the specific design parameters of the imaging device and the requirements imposed on the reconstruction algorithm.


The two main tasks that will be performed in this work are:

  • Exploration of the different ways to retrieve phase information from the object’s Fourier spectrum in incoherent imaging systems.
The insights obtained here will be useful in the formulation of the image reconstruction algorithms.
  • Exploration of the correlation between neighboring frequencies in the object’s Fourier spectrum in incoherent imaging systems.
This will help us determine whether the systems’ transfer function can contain gaps, and what would be the effect of those gaps in the reconstructed image.
A good candidate has:
  • A strong mathematical background
  • Experience with coding (Python, MATLAB)
  • Good notions of wave propagation and interference, photonics, optics, (fluorescence) microscopy and signal/image processing

Type of project: Thesis, Combination of internship and thesis

Duration: 6 months

Required degree: Master of Science, Master of Engineering Science

Required background: Computer Science, Physics, Nanoscience & Nanotechnology, Electrotechnics/Electrical Engineering

Supervising scientist(s): For further information or for application, please contact: Pol Van Dorpe (Pol.VanDorpe@imec.be) and Niels Verellen (Niels.Verellen@imec.be) and Victor Chuman Alvarado (Chuman.Alvarado.Victor@imec.be)

Imec allowance will be provided for students studying at a non-Belgian university.

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