PhD position in Colloidal Synthesis of Nanoscale Optics (1.0 FTE)

Uren per week: 
38 tot 40
Faculteit of dienst: 
Faculteit Bètawetenschappen
Department of Chemistry, Van 't Hoff Laboratory for Physical and Colloid Chemistry
Uiterlijk reageren op: 


Optical (nano)technologies form a growing area that will play an important role in our future, empowering fields like optical circuitry, quantum computing, ultra-sensitive sensing, and light harvesting. The ability to deliver optical energy as efficiently as possible will be crucial to apply such technologies outside the lab. The research of Dr. Marlous Kamp focusses on using colloidal synthesis to develop micron- and nanoscale lenses that control the optical pathways out of/into nano-optical devices, optimising their performance. For example, simple colloidal spheres can already focus light below the diffraction limit, allowing for nanoscale optical energy delivery. This strategy routines achieves great amplification of signals captured from light-emitting molecules, allowing new optical phenomena to be observed such as the dynamics and reaction kinetics of even single molecules. Ultimately, such colloidal lenses will facilitate the miniaturisation of devices by eliminating the need to incorporate bulky optical components. To achieve this goal, both established and new colloidal synthesis strategies are used to design and produce such novel colloidal/nanostructures, in conjunction with advanced optical and electron microscope characterisation techniques and supported by theoretical modelling.

In this project, you as PhD candidate will focus on developing and improving synthesis methods of colloidal constructs for nanolensing. For this, it is crucial to understand all aspects of near diffraction limited lensing by colloidal structures, from their exact morphology and materials’ properties to their effects on the emitters. You will design and characterise the efficiency of these light-manipulating nanoarchitectures. You will use techniques ranging from electron microscopy via optical simulations to spectroscopic analysis. Additionally, you will use this experimental and theoretical data to modify and optimise the design of the colloidal lenses. You will work across multiple disciplines, performing both colloidal chemistry and state-of-the-art spectroscopies.


For this vacancy, we are looking for an enthusiastic, self-motivated candidate with a Master’s degree in Physics, Chemistry, or in a related field. We are looking for someone who brings multiple of the following:

  • Experience in ‘wet’ lab work (e.g. colloid synthesis, sample preparation) and ‘dry’ lab work (i.e. microscopy, data analysis, potentially also building or improving optics, programming and/or running simulations);
  • Previous experience with colloid/nanoparticle synthesis and/or with advanced microscopy and/or building optical set-ups is considered a plus;
  • The candidate should enjoy working and learning across disciplines and be proactive in this aspect;
  • Good command of both oral and written English, good communication and organization skills, as well as the ability to work within a diverse and dynamic group;


  • A position for 4 years;
  • A full-time gross salary ranging from € 2.541,- to €3.247 in scale P;
  • 8% holiday bonus and 8.3% end-of-year bonus;
  • A pension scheme, partially paid parental leave, and flexible employment conditions based on the Collective Labour Agreement (CAO) for Dutch Universities.

In addition to the employment conditions from the CAO for Dutch Universities, Utrecht University has a number of its own arrangements. These include agreements on professional development, leave arrangements and sports. We also give you the opportunity to expand your terms of employment through the Employment Conditions Selection Model. This is how we encourage you to grow.

For more information, please visit working at Utrecht University.

Over de organisatie

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The research group itself consists of the project leader, Dr. Kamp, and the successful candidate, and will be embedded in the Van ‘t Hoff Laboratory which houses around 30 staff, researchers and students. The candidate will also liaise with (inter)national collaborators where appropriate, including researchers within the PI’s network at the University of Cambridge.

Aanvullende informatie

If you have any questions that you’d like us to answer, please contact Dr. Marlous Kamp via

Do you have a question about the application procedure? Please send an email to

Are you an international applicant? Our International Service Desk can answer your questions about living in the Netherlands as international staff.

For more information, please visit working at the Faculty of Science.


Everyone deserves to feel at home at our university. We aim to embed good equality and diversity practices in all our activities so that we can provide an inclusive, welcoming and inspiring place to work and study regardless of age, disability, neurodiversity, trans identity or history, marital status, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion, gender or sexual orientation.

If you are enthusiastic about this position, just apply via the "Apply" button! Please enclose:

  • your letter of motivation;
  • your Curriculum Vitae;
  • the contact details (name, telephone number, and email address) of at least two references that may be contacted if the candidate shortlisted;

If this specific opportunity isn’t for you, but you know someone else who may be interested, please forward this vacancy to them.

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Uiterlijk reageren op 13 februari 2023.