PhD, Precise Structure Characterization FO Scanning Transmission Electron Microscopy University of Antwerp, Faculty of Science Belgium

PhD, Precise structure characterisation fo scanning Transmission electron microscopy - 2018BAPFWETEF050


The EMAT research group at the Faculty of Science (University of Antwerp) is seeking to fill two


PhD positions in the area of precise structure characterisation using fast pixelated detectors for scanning transmission electron microscopy


under the supervision of Prof Sandra Van Aert.


These vacancies are situated in an H2020 ERC Consolidator grant Picometer metrology for light-element nanostructures: making every electron count (PICOMETRICS). The overarching goal of PICOMETRICS is to usher transmission electron microscopy in a new era of non-destructive picometer metrology. Novel data-driven methods will be combined with the latest experimental capabilities to study nanostructures from single low-dose recordings using fast pixelated detectors for scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM). The required electron dose is envisaged to be four orders of magnitude lower than what is nowadays used. In this manner, beam damage will be drastically reduced or even be ruled out completely. This will enable precise characterisation of nanostructures in their native state; a prerequisite for understanding their properties.


Job description

  • Depending on your interest, the successful candidate will work on (i) the design and optimization of experiments with a focus on how to reduce the required electron dose, (ii) deep learning in 4D STEM using neural networks and maximum likelihood estimation for precise positioning of atoms in 3D, (iii) chemical and oxidation state mapping or (iv) 3D structure analysis from time series data to track changes over time.

  • The PhD candidates prepare a doctoral thesis in the field of sciences.

  • You publish scientific articles related to the research project of the assignment.

  • You present your work at national and international workshops and conferences.


Profile and requirements

  • The PhD candidates hold a master degree with background in e.g. physics, mathematics, materials science, transmission electron microscopy, scientific computing or artificial intelligence.

  • You are enthusiastic and greatly interested in the quantitative analysis of electron microscopy data.

  • You can submit outstanding academic results.

  • You are highly motivated, quality-oriented, conscientious, creative and cooperative.


We offer

  • a doctoral scholarship for a period of 1 year, renewable for 3 years after positive evaluation for the PhD candidates;

  • an exciting project in which we will aim to go significantly beyond the state-of-the-art;

  • a competitive salary;

  • the preferred starting date is between 1 May 2018 and 1 July 2018, but will be adapted to the selected candidate’s availability;

  • a world-class, dynamic and stimulating work environment with state-of-the-art instrumentation and computing facilities (see also


How to apply?

  • Please submit your application (motivation letter, CV, summary of Master thesis, and names of 2 professional referees) by email at Please mention the keyword "Picometrics" in the email subject. The deadline for submissions is March 31, 2018.

  • Additional information about the vacancy can be obtained from: Sandra Van Aert, tel. +32 3 265 3252,


The University of Antwerp is a family friendly organization, with a focus on equal opportunities and diversity. Our HR-policy for researchers was awarded by the European Commission with the quality label HR Excellence in research.


We support the Science4Refugees initiative and encourage asylum-seeking, refugee scientists and researchers to apply for a job at the University of Antwerp.

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