Postdoc: Programming optical near-fields with reconfigurable metasurfaces for subwavelength imaging

Date posted December 18, 2018
Type Postdoc positions

Metasurfaces are optical elements that are geometrically structured on the deep subwavelength scale in order to freely sculpt transmitted and reflected optical signals in amplitude and phase. In this project, we aim to use this ability to sculpt near- and far fields for the detection and imaging of subwavelength objects.  In particular, we aim to design and realize complex, strongly scattering metasurfaces that allow to freely program localized near-field distributions, addressable by offering structured far-field illumination, or by mechanically reconfiguring the metasurfaces. We seek to exploit this programmable relation between near and far fields of metasurfaces to decode spatial information of nearby objects, that scatter the programmable near fields towards a far field detection system.  Combining mechanical nanomanipulation, active reconfiguration of optical fields, state of the art optical detection methods, and advanced reconstruction algorithms such as from the field of compressive sensing, we aim to demonstrate the potential of this technology for optical detection of subwavelength objects. This project targets applications in semiconductor industry, i.e., metrology and inspection of wafers and masks during the lithography process, and is hence in collaboration with the applied sciences institute, TNO Delft. You will work in a small team to address the project goals, you are eager to be involved in both the theoretical and experimental associated challenges, and are enthousiastic about working with TNO Delft towards applications.

About the group

The Resonant Nanophotonics and Photonic Forces groups, led by Prof. dr. Femius Koenderink and Prof. dr. Ewold Verhagen, respectively, are part of the Center for Nanophotonics at AMOLF. We investigate the fundamental physics of light-matter interactions at the nanoscale as well as the applications they allow. This project is performed jointly by the two groups, and carried out in close collaboration with the research partner TNO (Netherlands Organization for applied scientific research, based in Delft). You are expected to actively work together with researchers at TNO, and will be seconded on part-time basis to the TNO Optics Department to work with the TNO mechatronics and metasurfaces experts (contact Giampiero Gerini). The project involves the use and development of advanced optical measurement techniques and theoretical/analysis tools, with extensive support from the group leaders and AMOLF and TNO technical staff.


We seek an excellent candidate with a background in physics or electrical engineering who has a doctoral degree, or has met all the requirements and will receive the doctoral degree shortly. Candidates with relevant experience, preferably in optics/photonics and/or signal processing, are especially encouraged to apply.

Terms of employment

You will be offered an employment of 2 years in the service of NWO-I with excellent employment benefits. The position is intended as full-time (40 hours / week, 12 months / year).

AMOLF is a small-scale institute with different disciplines and is known for its unique collaborative culture. Your development will be stimulated in the form of training on the job together with relevant courses. We offer generous relocation expenses and support with finding housing and visa application. NWO-I also offers you facilities to combine work and private life, like partly paid parental leave. Curious about our other benefits? See the employment regulations of NWO-I.

Contact info

Prof.dr. Femius Koenderink
Group leader Resonant Nanophotonics
Phone: +31 (0)20-754 7100

Prof.dr. Ewold Verhagen
Group leader Photonic Forces
Phone: +31 (0)20-754 7100

For information about the industrial partner: click links for information about TNO Optics and contact Prof. Dr. Giampiero Gerini