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PhD position on Ultracold Electron Pulses for Molecular Movies

PhD position on Ultracold Electron Pulses for Molecular Movies

Are you passionate about lab work? Do you like working with lasers and/or electron beams? I am looking for a PhD-student to work with me on a very exciting project: using a unique source of ultrashort pulses of ultracold electrons to make a molecular movie of a membrane protein.
Irène Curie Fellowship
Applied Physics and Science Education


I am looking for a PhD-student to work with me on a very exciting project: using a unique source of ultrashort pulses of ultracold electrons to make a molecular movie of a membrane protein.

Making such a movie on a lab-scale setup has never been done before and would mean a huge breakthrough. It is also very difficult, but with our unique source we have a good chance of achieving it.

The source [1,2] is based on the photo-ionization of a cloud of atoms that is trapped and laser-cooled to near-absolute zero temperature. Because of this, the created electron pulse has a high enough transverse coherence to obtain high-quality diffraction patterns from 2D protein crystals. The electron pulses are also very short (tens of picoseconds) so that in a pump-probe experiment we can even see very fast protein dynamics.

This project takes place in the Coherence and Quantum Technology group of Prof. Luiten. You will be embedded in the inspiring environment of this dynamic research group. Furthermore, the project involves international and interdisciplinary collaboration. For more information on the project (and me) see:

[1] Franssen, J et al., Struct. Dyn. 4, 044010 (2017)
[2] Franssen, J et al., PRAB 22, 023401 (2019)

During your PhD you will:

  • Learn valuable lab skills
  • Learn (and enjoy) at international summer schools
  • Publish results in peer-review journals
  • Present results at (inter)national conferences
  • Develop an international network
  • Have the freedom to shape your project


I am looking for someone who:

  • Has a MSc degree in Physics, Physical Chemistry or a related field
  • Has experience with at least one of the following: Lasers; Cold Atoms; RF Acceleration; Vacuum Systems; Electron Microscopy; Crystallography/Diffraction; Protein Structure Determination
  • Is motivated, practical, takes initiative


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 27 (min. €2,541 max. €3,247).
  • 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.

Informatie en sollicitatie

More information

Do you recognize yourself in this profile and would you like to know more? Please contact
Julius Huijtsj.v.huijts[at]

Visit our website for more information about the application process or the conditions of employment. You can also contact HR Services: HRServices.Flux[at]

Are you inspired and would like to know more about working at TU/e? Please visit our career and to find out more.


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

  • Cover letter in which you describe your motivation and qualifications for the position.
  • Curriculum vitae, including a list of your publications and conference presentations (if any) and the contact information of two references.
  • Title and summary of your Master thesis and a pdf copy or a link to it in case it is already completed.
  • (optional) List of BSc and MSc courses and grades.

We look forward to your application and will screen it as soon as we have received it. Screening will continue until the position has been filled.