For many years, the Faculty of Applied Sciences has had a strong program in the department of Imaging Physics in which new instrumentation and new methods are developed for microscopy and medical imaging. This has led to innovations in electron microscopy, lithography, light microscopy, ultrasound imaging, Terahertz imaging, focused ion beam milling, plus many quantitative image processing methods.
The Van Leeuwenhoek Laboratory for Advanced Imaging Research (VLLAIR) is founded by Professor Pieter Kruit in 2017. 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. Most of the instruments in the lab (electron microscopes, super-resolution fluorescence microscopes, high resolution ultrasound imagers) are prototypes with unique functionalities.
These instruments will be further developed by researchers of our Departments. During the development phase external scientists (like biologists, material scientists and medical doctors) and commercial partners will be invited for scientific research at these instruments and evaluating the developments / improvements.
In the cooperation with academic partners outside the new lab two kinds of partners can be distinguished: advanced users and co-developers. The basic idea of the lab is to develop new imaging instrumentation and methods in cooperation with first users and then get the first scientific results using these new instruments. Advanced users from inside and outside TU Delft are thus essential for making the lab a success.
TU Delft already has many projects in imaging innovations in which partners from industry participate. These projects will become part of the new lab. New collaborations will be established as new projects emerge. For industrial partners, a collaboration offers:
- the full triangle of new tools, advanced users and outstanding quantum and bio nano sciences in one building.
- infrastructure for finding the feasibility of “disruptive R&D” ideas.
- an environment where scientists and company-personnel can find out the practical value of these new functionalities in the full work flow of research, thus giving a better feeling for the market.
- graduates that have added value when subsequently employed by the partner company.
- a place to put company Beta-tools for early evaluation, where advanced users can work in an academic environment.