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PhD or postdoc on Single-molecule biosensing using plasmon-enhanced fluorescence

PhD or postdoc on Single-molecule biosensing using plasmon-enhanced fluorescence

PhD-student, (Post-doctoral) Researcher
Irène Curie Fellowship
Applied Physics and Science Education
Date off
Reference number

Job description

The Molecular Plasmonics group at Eindhoven University of Technology has an open position in the field of nanoplasmonic sensing. We welcome applications for a PhD position (4 years) or a postdoc position (3 years). The project aims to develop a new generation of single-molecule plasmon sensors based on plasmon-enhanced fluorescence, and to apply these new sensors to quantify protein-protein interactions that are multivalent.

About the project

In recent years the group has developed single-molecule sensors based on plasmon-enhanced fluorescence, see here for a recent review. Herein the fluorescence intensity of a labelled biomolecule is enhanced by several orders of magnitude once it binds to a plasmonic nanoparticle. This provides unique abilities to perform single-molecule biosensing at very high concentrations and with superior signal-to-noise ratio. In this project you will develop the first single-molecule sensor for multivalent proteins. You will learn about the design of the sensor, you will perform single-molecule optical microscopy and analyze/interpret the microscopy data. You will then apply the sensor to study the dynamic binding and unbinding of proteins that are involved in neurological disorders. Finally, you will reveal how these interaction dynamics are affected by the presence of drug molecules.

The project will be supervised by Peter Zijlstra (Molecular Plasmonics group) and co-supervised by Luc Brunsveld (Chemical Biology group) at TU/e. You will closely collaborate with a PhD student in the group of Brunsveld that is employed on the same project and will synthesize, functionalize, and characterize the proteins.

About the group

The Molecular Plasmonics group is at the department of Applied Physics and consists of ~12-15 researchers that work on plasmonic and nanophotonic sensors. The group is part of a bigger research cluster (40-50 researchers) focusing on molecular sensing. The team is multidisciplinary and hosts physicists, chemists, and biomedical engineers that collaborate in a close-knit team. The lab hosts a range of state-of-the-art single-molecule microscopes in optical laboratories, as well as wet-chemical labs where sensors are functionalized and integrated with fluidics. The group is part of the Institute for Complex Molecular Systems, where we share equipment and you will collaborate with chemists, biologists, and microscopists outside the group.

Job requirements

We welcome applications from candidates with a background in physics, physical chemistry, or a related discipline with experience in (single-molecule) optical microscopy. Affinity with data analysis in Matlab and/or Python is an advantage.

Conditions of employment

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.
  • 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.

Information and application

About us

Eindhoven University of Technology is an internationally top-ranking university in the Netherlands that combines scientific curiosity with a hands-on attitude. Our spirit of collaboration translates into an open culture and a top-five position in collaborating with advanced industries. Fundamental knowledge enables us to design solutions for the highly complex problems of today and tomorrow. 

More information

Do you recognize yourself in this profile and would you like to know more? Please contact
dr. P. Zijlstra, e-mail p.zijlstra[at]

For information about terms of employment, click here or contact HR Services, e-mail HRServices.flux[at]

Please visit to find out more about working at TU/e!


We invite you to submit a complete application by using the 'apply now'-button on this page.
The application should include:

  • a one-page cover letter explaining your motivation and suitability for the position;
  • a detailed Curriculum Vitae;
  • a copy or link to your MSc thesis (for PhD applicants)
  • copies of diplomas with course grades (for PhD applicants)
  • a copy or link to your PhD thesis (for postdoc applicants)

We look forward to your application and will screen your application as soon as possible. The vacancy will remain open until the position is filled.

We do not respond to applications that are sent to us in a different way.

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