PhD scholarship in Phase Plate Fabrication and Application for Electron Microscopy

tirsdag 06 jul 21

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Frist 15. august 2021
Du kan søge om jobbet ved DTU Nanolab ved at udfylde den efterfølgende ansøgningsformular.

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High resolution electron microscopy of biological samples has a huge potential. Visualizing biological structures with near atomic resolution is a key tool to understand fundamental biological processes. However, image quality and the amount of information that can be extracted form an electron microscopy image is strongly dependent on the contrast which can be challenging when imaging biological materials. As in conventional light microscopy, phase contrast is a means to overcome this problem.

The National Centre for Nanofabrication and Characterization at the Technical University of Denmark (DTU Nanolab) is thus seeking a PhD student to work on the development of novel phase plates for transmission electron microscopy.  The candidate will utilize advanced nano fabrication and characterization techniques to develop and characterize robust and reproducible phase plates for the characterization of biological samples by means of electron microscopy.

You will gain expertise in the use of clean room fabrication techniques in the manufacture of phase plates as well as in advanced electron microscopy characterization techniques.  Phase plates are necessary to improve the contrast and thereby the (nano) characterization of non-uniform biological samples with low inherent contrast in the electron microscope. The development of robust and reproducible phase plates is key for the continuing adoption of phase plates in cryo electron microscopy.

Responsibilities and qualifications


  • Utilize state of the art clean room manufacturing techniques to develop phase plates with
    • Improved aging characteristics
    • Improved reproducibility
    • Multiple phase plates per device
  • Utilized advanced transmission electron microscopy techniques including electron energy loss spectroscopy to characterize
    • The effect of aging on the phase plate structure
    • The effect of phase plate structure on phase shift
  • Utilize phase plate electron microscopy to characterize biological samples

You must have a two-year master's degree (120 ECTS points) or a similar degree with an academic level equivalent to a two-year master's degree.

Approval and Enrolment
The scholarship for the PhD degree is subject to academic approval, and the candidate will be enrolled in one of the general degree programmes at DTU. For information about our enrolment requirements and the general planning of the PhD study programme, please see the DTU PhD Guide.

The assessment of the applicants will be made by a committee headed by Associate Professor Paul Kempen. 

We offer
DTU is a leading technical university globally recognized for the excellence of its research, education, innovation and scientific advice. We offer a rewarding and challenging job in an international environment. We strive for academic excellence in an environment characterized by collegial respect and academic freedom tempered by responsibility.

Salary and appointment terms
The appointment will be based on the collective agreement with the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations. The allowance will be agreed upon with the relevant union. The period of employment is 3 years. 

The workplace during the PhD project will mainly be at DTU Nanolab, Lyngby Campus.

You can read more about career paths at DTU here.

Further information
Further information may be obtained from Assoc. Professor Paul Kempen, email:

You can read more about DTU Nanolab at

If you are applying from abroad, you may find useful information on working in Denmark and at DTU at DTU – Moving to Denmark.  

Application procedure
Your complete online application must be submitted no later than 15 August 2021 (Danish time). Applications must be submitted as one PDF file containing all materials to be given consideration. To apply, please open the link "Apply online", fill out the online application form, and attach all your materials in English in one PDF file. The file must include:

  • A letter motivating the application (cover letter)
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Grade transcripts and BSc/MSc diploma
  • Excel sheet with translation of grades to the Danish grading system (see guidelines and Excel spreadsheet here)

You may apply prior to ob­tai­ning your master's degree but cannot begin before having received it.

All interested candidates irrespective of age, gender, race, disability, religion or ethnic background are encouraged to apply.

DTU Nanolab is a common infrastructure and research facility located at and fully owned by the Technical University of Denmark, DTU. The core facilities consist of a large cleanroom and a state-of-the-art electron microscopy center. The research activities carried out at DTU Nanolab span from nano- and microfabrication with silicon-based materials, carbon and polymers to the highly sophisticated characterization of nanoscale materials in hard and soft matter including biological material.

Technology for people
DTU develops technology for people. With our international elite research and study programmes, we are helping to create a better world and to solve the global challenges formulated in the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Hans Christian Ørsted founded DTU in 1829 with a clear vision to develop and create value using science and engineering to benefit society. That vision lives on today. DTU has 12,900 students and 6,000 employees. We work in an international atmosphere and have an inclusive, evolving, and informal working environment. DTU has campuses in all parts of Denmark and in Greenland, and we collaborate with the best universities around the world.