/High resolution on-chip fluorescence imaging using photonic integrated circuits

High resolution on-chip fluorescence imaging using photonic integrated circuits

Research & development - Leuven | More than two weeks ago

Developing a completely new way of doing optical microscopy

Fluorescent microscopy is an indispensable tool in biology and medicine that has fueled many breakthroughs in a wide set of sub-domains.

Recently the world of microscopy has witnessed a true revolution in terms of increased resolution of fluorescent imaging techniques, even resulting a Nobel Prize in 2014. High resolution microscopy is also responsible for the spectacular cost reduction of DNA sequencing during the last decade.


The next big push in microscopy with a large societal impact will come from extremely compact and robust optical systems that will make high-resolution (fluorescence) microscopy highly accessible, enabling both cellular diagnostics at the point of care and the development of compact, cost-effective DNA sequencing instruments, facilitating early diagnosis of cancer and other genomic disorders.


Our team is developing a novel high-resolution imaging platform, based on only a single chip, that will completely eliminate the necessity of standard free-space optical components. This new concept will provide imaging beyond the resolution limit set by the sensor pixel size and the point spread function of an extremely compact microscopy system.



In this master thesis topic, the student will contribute to the study of a novel high-resolution imaging concept based entirely on an intimate marriage of active on-chip photonics and CMOS image sensors.

A suitable candidate has a keen interest in experimental work, data analysis, and simulations.

The main research objectives are:

  • Super-resolution microscopy of structured illumination patterns generated by the new microscopy chips
  • Experimentally reveal the achievable resolution of the full system and the interdependencies with e.g. speed and field of view size
  • Reproduce and validate experimental results with a system model and simulations

Type of project: Thesis

Duration: 1 academic year

Required degree: Master of Science, Master of Engineering Science

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

Supervising scientist(s): For further information or for application, please contact: Niels Verellen (Niels.Verellen@imec.be)

Only for self-supporting students.