Postdoc position on nano-optomechanical sensors (V34.3606)

Postdoc position on nano-optomechanical sensors

(Postdoctoraal) onderzoeker
Faculteit Technische Natuurkunde

The Photonics and Semiconductor Nanophysics group at the Eindhoven University of Technology (The Netherlands, has an open Postdoc position in the field of nano-optomechanical sensors.

Goal and background

Optical sensing is playing an increasingly important role in industrial process control and environmental monitoring. For example, atomic force microscopy (AFM), based on the optical measurement of the position of a tip while it is scanned on a surface, can be used to image integrated circuits on the nanometer scale. Similarly, fiber-optic sensors, based on detecting tiny pressure or temperature changes through their effect on the wavelength of an optical resonance, are finding application in the construction, aeronautical, chemical and biomedical sectors.

Our group has recently developed a novel nano-opto-electro-mechanical structure (NOEMS), which combines a nanoscale actuator and a built-in displacement sensor*. The resolution of the sensor, based on a photonic crystal optomechanical cavity, is presently in the pm range and can potentially reach the 10 fm range. We have further demonstrated that such a sensor can be placed on top of a fiber tip, leading to a new generation of fiber sensors of displacement, force and pressure. In this project we aim at investigating the application of this NOEMS as smart sensors, in particular in parallel AFM systems.

* Zobenica, Žarko, van der Heijden, Rob W., Petruzzella, Maurangelo, Pagliano, Francesco, Leijssen, Rick, Xia, Tian, Midolo, Leonardo, Cotrufo, Michele, Cho, Yong Jin, Verhagen, Ewold & Fiore, Andrea (2017). Integrated nano-opto-electro-mechanical sensor for spectrometry and nanometrology. Nature Communications, 8(1):2216

Project description

The selected candidate will perform applied research in nanophotonics and optical sensing. The nano-opto-electro-mechanical structures, based on photonic crystal cavities equipped with a tip, are currently being investigated within a PhD project. The postdoc would focus on implementation of the device in optical sensing systems. In particular, the application to a prototype AFM system and its parallel operation, exploring novel methods for the parallel read-out of multiple cavities, will be explored. Other applications of NOEMS as smart sensors on a fiber tip may also be investigated.

The project is funded by the Applied and Engineering Sciences domain (TTW, formerly STW) of the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO), and carried out at the Eindhoven University of Technology, under the supervision of prof. dr. A. Fiore and dr. R.W. van der Heijden. A collaboration exists with the Nano-Optomechatronics Instrumentation (NOMI) program of TNO (Netherlands Organization for Applied Scientific Research) in Delft, the Netherlands (, where part of the research will be carried out. The project is further supported by several other industrial partners from the Netherlands and abroad.

We welcome applications from candidates with a recent PhD degree in Applied Physics or Electrical Engineering, preferably in a topic relevant to nanophotonics and/or optical sensing. A background and interest in optics or photonics is required as well. Candidates must prove a strong attitude towards experimental physics and the drive and capacity to tackle different aspects of a complex problem with large independence.  A strong affinity with applied and industry-relevant research in the field of optical sensing, as well as an entrepreneurial attitude, are expected.

We offer a full time appointment for a maximum of 21 months, a gross monthly salary from
€ 3.173,-- depending on knowledge and experience, in line with the Collective Agreement for Dutch Universities and an attractive package of fringe benefits, including end-of-year allowance.

Information on employment conditions can be found at

More information on the project may be obtained from prof. A. Fiore (, or dr. R.W. van der Heijden (

You can apply by pressing the ‘apply now’ button for this vacancy.
Applications should include:

  • A cover letter explaining your motivation and qualifications for the position
  • A detailed CV
  • A list of publications and conference contributions
  • Names and contact information of two or more references

Screening of applications will start as soon as applications are received and will continue until the position has been filled.