Postdoc: Nanothermometry of plasmonic heat sources resolved in time and space

Date posted August 4, 2023
Type Postdoc positions

The Hybrid Nanosystems group at NWO-Institute AMOLF is looking for a 2-year postdoc on cathodoluminescence nanothermometry. Nanothermometry provides us with a new tool to locally measure temperatures in e.g. electronic devices or during catalytic reactions. In this project we want to go beyond state-of-the-art and develop a technique that will augment the ultimate spatial resolution of nanothermometry with high time sensitivity by making use of time-resolved cathodoluminescence. 

In particular, we want to combine spatially and time-resolved nanothermometry with control over temperature generation by thermoplasmonics. Thermoplasmonics is a non-invasive and cheap tool to create strong temperature gradients at the nanoscale that is used in biomedical and catalytic applications. Although thermoplasmonics has been studied for many years, it remains a challenge to actually measure temperature gradients in space and time on the level of single plasmonic nanoparticles. The challenge lies in the requirement of simultaneously achieving nanometer spatial resolution and picosecond time resolution. In this project, you will use time-resolved cathodoluminescence to achieve that goal. You will couple heating of plasmonic nanoparticles by light excitation inside the electron microscope with pump-probe cathodoluminescence measurements on surrounding semiconducting or upconverting temperature probes. You will also investigate how possible interfacial heat resistance influences heat dissipation into the surroundings. Furthermore, you will couple your findings to thermoplasmonic heat simulations. The developed technique will open up a new world to reliably measure nanoscale heat generation in space and time, making it possible to test classical simulation approaches. 

The project is part of the EBEAM consortium and you will be part of all EBEAM activities such as our monthly symposia, summer schools and workshops. More information about the goals, members and research activities of EBEAM can be found on Within the consortium you will also collaborate with other EBEAM partners on cathodoluminescence characterization of cutting edge functional materials. The research will be performed in close collaboration with the Photonic Materials group headed by Prof. Albert Polman.

About the group

You will perform this research in the Hybrid Nanosystems research group headed by Wiebke Albrecht at AMOLF. The Hybrid Nanosystems group combines single-particle optical and advanced electron microscopy to answer fundamental questions about the complex interaction between different classes of nanomaterials. We also explore new architectures for creating functional and smart hybrid nanosystems.

AMOLF performs leading research on the fundamental physics and design principles of natural and man-made complex matter, with research in 3 interconnected themes: sustainable energy materials, information in matter, and autonomous matter. AMOLF leverages these insights to create novel functional materials, and to find solutions to societal challenges in renewable energy, green ICT, and health care. AMOLF is one of the NWO-I national research institutes located at the Amsterdam Science Park, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. It has approximately 130 scientists and a total size of ca. 200 employees. Furthermore, it hosts the Amsterdam NanolabNL clean room, which is part of the national NanoLabNL cleanroom network. See also


You need to meet the requirements for a doctors-degree and must have research experience in a non-Dutch academic environment. We are looking for an outstanding and highly motivated candidate with experience in electron microscopy or optics or a related physics field with strong social, organizational and communication skills.

Terms of employment

The position is intended as full-time (40 hours / week, 12 months / year) appointment in the service of the Netherlands Foundation of Scientific Research Institutes (NWO-I) for the duration of 2 years, with a salary in scale 10 (CAO-OI) and a range of employment benefits. AMOLF assists any new foreign Postdoc with housing and visa applications and compensates their transport costs and furnishing expenses.

Contact info

Dr. Wiebke Albrecht
Group leader Hybrid Nanosystems
Phone: +31 (0)20-754 7100

You can respond to this vacancy online via the button below.
Please send your:
–  Resume;
–  Motivation on why you want to join the group (max. 1 page).
It is important to us to know why you want to join our team. This means that we will only consider your application if it entails your motivation letter.

Applications will be evaluated on a rolling basis and as soon as an excellent match is made, the position will be filled.

Online screening may be part of the selection.

AMOLF is highly committed to an inclusive and diverse work environment. Hence, we greatly encourage candidates from any personal background and perspective to apply.

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