PhD on nanoplasmonics for ultrafast single-molecule biosensing

Research / Academic

Project description

Our group has developed nanoplasmonic biosensors with single-molecule sensitivity based on label-free detection and plasmon-enhanced fluorescence. These sensors currently probe biomolecular interactions on timescales of milliseconds to hours, and are used for biosensing purposes. The ultimate goal of this project is to develop an optical platform to study biomolecular processes on drastically shorter, nano- to microsecond timescales. This enables a new realm of applications because these sensors will reveal conformational dynamics, transient interactions, and folding on currently inaccessible timescales. You will be responsible for the design and biochemical functionalization of the nanosensor, and you will perform optical experiments and data analysis.


The project is part of the ERC Consolidator grant MultiSense, which aims to expand the single-molecule toolbox by developing multi-color nanophotonic sensors for fast (nano- to microsecond) processes. As part of MultiSense, you will collaborate with three previously employed members with a physics and biomedical engineering background.

About the group

You will be supervised by Peter Zijlstra, who leads the Molecular Plasmonics group at the Department of Applied Physics. Our group is part of the Molecular Biosensing research cluster (~40 researchers) that shares facilities and meets weekly. We perform leading research on optical single-molecule sensing technologies, focusing on nanoplasmonic and nanophotonic sensors. Our multidisciplinary team hosts physicists, chemists, and biomedical engineers collaborating in a close-knit team. Our lab hosts a range of state-of-the-art single-molecule microscopes in optical laboratories and wet-chemical labs where sensors are functionalized and integrated with fluidics.


We welcome applications from candidates with an MSc degree in physics (or similar) with experimental experience in nanophotonics or optical microscopy. Affinity with biochemical functionalization or quantitative analysis of microscopy data is an advantage.

Salary Benefits:

A meaningful job in a dynamic and ambitious university, in an interdisciplinary setting and within an international network. You will work on a beautiful, green campus within walking distance of the central train station. In addition, we offer you:

  • Full-time employment for four years, with an intermediate evaluation (go/no-go) after nine months. You will spend 10% of your employment on teaching tasks.
  • Salary and benefits (such as a pension scheme, paid pregnancy and maternity leave, partially paid parental leave) in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities, scale P (min. €2,770 max. €3,539).
  • A year-end bonus of 8.3% and annual vacation pay of 8%.
  • High-quality training programs and other support to grow into a self-aware, autonomous scientific researcher. At TU/e we challenge you to take charge of your own learning process.
  • An excellent technical infrastructure, on-campus children's day care and sports facilities.
  • An allowance for commuting, working from home and internet costs.
  • A Staff Immigration Team and a tax compensation scheme (the 30% facility) for international candidates.
Work Hours:

38 hours per week


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