PostDoc: Optical Nanoscopy

  • WO
  • Tijdelijk
Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)


Optical nanoscopy is a super-resolution microscopy technique to study subcellular structures and function via specifically targeted fluorescent labels in molecular biology. Localisation microscopy in particular offers a much better resolution (~10-50 nm) than conventional diffraction limited microscopy (~250 nm). This project aims at shifting the resolution obtainable in an optical light microscope even further towards 1 nm.

The researcher will work in a team of experimentalists and theorists who share the common goal to imaging at the nanometer scale. She/he will work on simulation/theory of image formation and parameter estimation. The image formation description is based on the so-called 4pi microscope where the self-interference of the fluorescent emission can be used to estimate the axial position of a single emitter with nano meter precision. To this end the emission light is split into 4 channels (by polarization beam splitters) and the respective intensities are indicative for the axial position. As long as the emitter is free to rotate during one camera frame, a rotational symmetric point spread function (PSF) will be recorded, but if the emitter is fixed (due to conformational embedding or freezing of the medium) the PSF will reflect the dipole character of the emission and will depend on the 3D orientation of the single molecule emitter. In addition (field dependent) aberrations will influence the shape of the PSF. This requires the estimation model to reflect the forward imaging process perfectly and include all relevant parameters, such that a fit with many free parameters still converges. We want to build on our expertise in (maximum likelihood) estimation theory in combination with Cramer-Rao lower bound analysis to find the best way to tackle the problem at hand. Based on the results, we can set requirements on the tolerances for e.g. the alignment of objectives and the beam path to ensure at the end the most optimal localization precision.


The candidate must hold a Ph.D. degree in Electrical Engineering or Applied Physics and must have a strong background in optics, image formation modeling or simulation. Excellent analytical skills are essential. Good programming capabilities are expected. Experience in the fields of light microscopy, aberration theory or polarization imaging are beneficial but not required.


Delft University of Technology is built on strong foundations. As creators of the world-famous Dutch waterworks and pioneers in biotech, TU Delft is a top international university combining science, engineering and design. It delivers world class results in education, research and innovation to address challenges in the areas of energy, climate, mobility, health and digital society. For generations, our engineers have proven to be entrepreneurial problem-solvers, both in business and in a social context.

At TU Delft we embrace diversity as one of our core values and we actively engage to be a university where you feel at home and can flourish. We value different perspectives and qualities. We believe this makes our work more innovative, the TU Delft community more vibrant and the world more just. Together, we imagine, invent and create solutions using technology to have a positive impact on a global scale. That is why we invite you to apply. Your application will receive fair consideration.

Challenge. Change. Impact!


Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities. The TU Delft offers a customisable compensation package, a discount on health insurance and sport memberships, and a monthly work costs contribution. Flexible work schedules can be arranged.

For international applicants we offer the Coming to Delft Service and Partner Career Advice to assist you with your relocation. An International Children's Centre offers childcare and there is an international primary school.

Duration of the contract: 2.5 years

Meer informatie

For more information about this position, please contact prof. dr. Bernd Rieger, either by phone: +31 (0)15-2788574 or e-mail.