Research Themes

Our scientists jointly work on three key research themes in imaging physics with a clear societal impact. There is also a shared fundamental layer comprising: numerical and analytical image formation modelling, image/data processing, solving inverse problems, and reconstruction.

The Department of Imaging Physics (abbr. ImPhys) focuses on developing novel, sometimes revolutionary, instruments and imaging technologies. These research products demonstrate our insight in imaging since they extend existing boundaries in terms of spatial resolution, temporal resolution, and information/data throughput. We are pioneers in developing advanced concepts of computational imaging, a marriage between cleverly designed imaging systems and sophisticated post-processing. These concepts provide access to otherwise invisible detail or information, which become available only after dedicated computational post-processing of the raw image data. Such breakthroughs in imaging physics often lead to progress in science and offer new information – image to insight – relevant for both society and industry.

Importantly, ImPhys’s profile encompasses a mix of science, engineering and design. While the spectrum of imaging physics is very broad, we focus on a few key fields where – through internal synergy and multi-disciplinary collaborations with external partners – we generate impact. Research topics span the entire range from curiosity-driven to application-inspired, are always academically challenging, relevant to society, and approached from a fundamental perspective. The research is conducted in four discipline-related research groups: Optics, Microscopy Instrumentation and Techniques, Medical Imaging and Quantitative Imaging.

Centers of Excellence and Consortia

ImPhys is co-founder of several Centers of Excellence and Consortia in which the research staff participates together with scientists of universities, medical centres, industry and the Netherlands Organisation for applied scientific research TNO.

KDAI Lab - from data-driven to knowledge-driven AI

In the KDAI Lab (Knowledge-Driven AI Lab), we are going to strengthen the current data-driven AI by integrating fundamental knowledge from applied natural sciences. We will conduct research on knowledge-driven AI, and show its potential in two applied science domains: medical imaging and chemical engineering. At the same time, our research can be used more broadly, because it studies the fundamental methodology for bringing knowledge into all the key components of AI: data collection, algorithm design, user interaction and implementation.

Delft Electron Microscopy Initiative (DEMI)

With the Delft Electron Microscopy Initiative (DEMI), the departments of Imaging Physics, Quantum Nanoscience, and Bionanoscience at TU Delft join forces in the innovation, development, education, application, and accessibility of cutting edge Electron Microscopy techniques.

IRIS Lab: AI for quantitative bioimaging

The aim of the IRIS lab (Intelligent & Reliable Imaging Systems) is to open the black box of AI and develop methodologies for context-independent, knowledge-based learning of imaging systems that will address fundamental challenges in all quantitative imaging applications. The proposed AI-technology will be applied to electron, optical, and ultrasound imaging to unravel dynamic molecular processes in living organisms: conformational ensembles of proteins, single-molecule dynamics in thick tissue and super-resolved vasculature mapping in real-time.

VLLAIR Lab (Van Leeuwenhoek Laboratory for Advanced Imaging Research)

 It is an unique facility for collaboration between the Departments Imaging Physics, Quantum Nanoscience and industrial parties. The lab has a clean and stable lab-climate and is fully transparent to increase and stimulate cooperation between scientists and public-private parties.

Dutch Optics Centre (DOC)

Dutch Optics Centre aims at boosting the optics industry by increasing utilisation of science through joint R&D. With their partners they cover the entire value chain from academia to industry in research and development projects supported by networking and education activities, consultancy and assistance for startup companies. The Dutch Optics Centre is a TNO and TU Delft initiative

Medical Delta

Medical Delta brings together three renowned universities, two university medical centers, four colleges, governments, companies, healthcare institutions and other parties in the province Zuid-Holland. Medical Delta wants to realize sustainable care with technological solutions. As the key player of the Health & Technology ecosystem, they want to create an impact on people, care, knowledge and the regional economy through interdisciplinary scientific research and practice-oriented Field and Living Labs. In doing so, they make healthcare better and keep it accessible and affordable.

Delphi Consortium for geo-imaging

Led by scientists at the Technical University of Delft (the ‘Delphi team’), ca. 30 international companies in the geo-energy sector finance together new options in the field of geophysical imaging. With modern geo-imaging technology it is possible to look into the earth at large depths, making the complex geologic structures visible and showing the composition and properties of rocks in great detail.

Scientific Output

All our research output is published in the TU Delft Institutional Repository to reach our Open Science goals of knowledge sharing. We would like to highlight the latest dissertations and coverstories in the below overview.

We believe it is important to promote public awareness (and understanding) of science and make informal contributions to science education. Therefore we work on outreach at many levels, e.g. supporting high school teachers, organizing conferences, supporting the Science Museum of the university, providing Maker Labs with optical equipment, sustaining field labs and providing 3D printing support.


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