High tech Industry projects

Photonics problems (light in interaction with matter, electrons or atoms)

We are mainly working in Photonics problems; this is everything related to light and it’s interaction with matter, electrons or atoms. We focus in novel materials called metamaterials, taming light using scattering or nano-structures. We have projects for students interested in experimental optics, theory building via mathematical analysis and numerical simulations. The projects are usually very applied with a clear problem to solve for various domain such as lighting, energy harvesting or illumination.

Insight in imaging and patterning on the nano-scale

Using focused electron beams we study the mechanisms of 3Dnanostructure fabrication and we develop the necessary instrumentation: a ‘3D-printer’ at nano-scale. To characterize these tiny structures we develop quantitative metrology methods based on electron microscopy and atomic force microscopy. The state-of-the art Monte Carlo simulations that we develop, using fast parallel computing on graphics cards, help us to understand the  mechanisms at work.

Both BSc- and MSc-students are welcome to collaborate with us in projects that may vary from being purely experimental and applied to rather theoretical and simulation-based. Projects, to be defined in consultation with the student, may contain the following aspects, or combinations thereof:

  • Use of scanning electron microscopes for nanofabrication
  • Unravel the mechanisms of the formation of nanostructures
  • Design, construction and testing of electron optical components
  • Design, construction and testing of components for a ‘3D-printer at nano-scale’
  • Development of simulations of electron scattering with matter

Use of electron scattering simulations in lithography, metrology, or particle detection The majority of the projects will have an industrial component in the sense that either industry is funding the
project or that a direct industrial application is aimed for.

Revolutionary tools for fabricating nano-structures and inspection of the nanoworld

Optical metrology

In optical metrology, we are busy with the development of techniques that uses optical fields for very accurate measurements. Think about extremely sensitive sensors and noninvasive inspection of subwavelength structures or particles on surfaces. The most important area of application of our technique at the moment is in the semiconductor industry in the development of lithographic machines for integrated circuit fabrication. But we expect that other new areas such as plastic based technology for fabrication of cheap solar cells, organic LEDS and flexible electronics will profit of our approach. We have projects for students interested in experiments as well as theory, and we have close contacts with TNO, ASML, Philips research.


Optics is still very much alive and is a fascinating subject to study and to pursue a career in. Examples of exciting topics are e.g. holography and optical cloacking. Optics also has many applications and is very important for industry. If you do your master or bachelor project in the Optics Group you can choose between a more applied or a more theoretical subject. We maintain a close link with TNO Optics through the Dutch Optical Centre which is an initiative of the Optics Groups of TU Delft and of TNO. We also have close ties with ASML, Carl Zeiss in the field of scatterometry and computational imaging, and with Datalogic in the field of bar code readers, and also with other companies. If you prefer fundamental topics, you can explore for example transformation optics, hyperbolic materials, nano-optics using special focused beams or optical communication with singular vector beams.

Advanced and high-resolution seismic imaging techniques

Just like ultrasound techniques, seismic imaging uses acoustic reflection energy to create an image of the internal structures of a medium, the Earth in this case. With thousands of sources and receiver put at or close to the Earth’s surface, we aim at characterizing small heterogeneities at a few km depth. The challenge is to use all complex propagation effects and multiple scattering to obtain results at a resolution and reliability beyond today’s capabilities. As doing actual measurements is usually not feasible, the main emphasis of the research projects is in the development of new algorithms and testing them on either simulated or measured seismic responses. Furthermore, cross-fertilization to applications at a small scale for non-destructive testing of materials takes place.