PhD on plasmon-enhanced detection of single-molecules

Research / Academic


Optical methods to study single molecules have initiated a revolution because they revealed marked differences between individual molecules in a seemingly homogeneous population. However, the diffraction limit of light has largely restricted single-molecule fluorescence studies to dilute and buffered solutions which are not representative for the concentrated cellular environment. It remains an open question to what extent molecular processes are affected by the cellular environment. This question can only be answered when individual biomolecules and their interactions are studied under physiological conditions, which is the aim of the Molecular Plasmonics group.

In this project you will combine nanoplasmonics and single-molecule microscopy to develop novel approaches to detect single molecules and their interactions in realistic conditions. You will use single-molecule optical microscopy combined with single-nanoparticle spectroscopy to study the kinetics of protein-interactions on millisecond timescales and at high concentrations. You will combine experimental approaches with (numerical) modelling to facilitate quantitation and comparison to theoretical predictions.

About the molecular plasmonics group

We are an interdisciplinary team of physicists and physical chemists that develop approaches for single-molecule sensing with the aim to study individual biomolecules in complex environments. Our research particularly focuses on single-molecule detection using plasmonic and fluorescent approaches. We combine nanoparticle functionalization, single-molecule microscopy, super-resolution microscopy, and modelling.

About ICMS

The Institute for Complex Molecular Systems is an interdisciplinary institute at Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) which brings excellent researchers from different areas together to promote cross-breeding of ideas across departments and across disciplines. The institute was founded on April 1, 2008 and currently has 100 members from the TU/e departments Chemical Engineering and Chemistry, Biomedical Engineering, Applied Physics, Mathematics and Computer Science, and Mechanical Engineering. We aim to create and study biologically inspired complex and functional nano-sized objects with the ultimate goal of understanding the full complexity of life.


We are looking for candidates with a degree in physical sciences and experience in optics and microscopy. You will be employed by the department of Applied Physics in the group Molecular Plasmonics that is part of the Molecular Biosensing cluster (MBx). During the project you will closely collaborate with other researchers in the Institute for Complex Molecular Systems (ICMS, see below).

Salary Benefits:

We offer:
  • An exciting job in the active research group Molecular Plasmonics (
  • A full time appointment for four years at Eindhoven University of Technology
  • Gross monthly salary from € 2.325 (first year) to € 2.972 (fourth year) in line with the Collective Agreement for Dutch Universities
  • An attractive package of fringe benefits, including end-of-year allowance, a personal development program for PhD students (Proof program), and excellent sport facilities

  • Information on PROOF can be found on the website

    Information about the terms of employment can be found on the website
    Work Hours:

    38 hours per week


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