Three PhD Stuents in Microfluidics and Radioisotopes
Delft University of Technology Faculty Applied Sciences

 Three PhD Students in Microfluidics and Radioisotopes

Department/faculty: Faculty Applied Sciences

Level: University Graduate

Working hours: 36-38 hours weekly

Contract: 4 years

Salary: 2325 - 2972 euros monthly (full-time basis)

Faculty Applied Sciences

Location:     Delft

Closing date: June 1, 2019

Vacancy nr.: TNWRST19-008



The Faculty of Applied Sciences is the largest faculty of TU Delft, with around 550 scientists, a support staff of 250 and 1,800 students. The faculty conducts fundamental, application-oriented research and offers scientific education at the bachelor, master and doctoral levels. The faculty is active in the fields of Life and Health Science & Technology, Nanoscience, Chemical Engineering, Radiation Science & Technology, and Applied Physics.


The department of Radiation Science and Technology ( focuses on research and education in materials, energy and health with radiation as the common denominator. Fields of interest are medical radioisotopes, materials for energy storage, technologies for diagnosis and treatment of diseases, advanced instrument development and sustainable nuclear energy.


The department of Chemical Engineering ( aims to generate knowledge and educate people in the area of nano chemical engineering to improve the quality of life for a sustainable society, focusing on energy, water, health and environment. The group of Product and Process Engineering views chemical engineering as an expanding field full of opportunities to create devices, processes and products.   


Job description


Medical radioisotopes are of paramount importance in diagnosing and treating various diseases. For this reason, a continuous, reliable and sufficient supply of such radioisotopes is required. Currently, the purification of radioisotopes consists of long, multi-step processes that contribute to a significant loss of product by natural decay.


Our innovative approach is to develop a microfluidic chip, based on liquid-liquid extraction, that significantly speeds up the purification step. Microfluidic liquid-liquid extraction has been investigated extensively for various chemical applications, but the application to a radioactive environment and to components specific to radioisotope production pose new challenges. First, radiation impacts the microfluidic chip materials and the chemical compounds required by the extraction step. Second, the transport of species, the related (radio)chemistry and the dynamical behaviour of the interface between both liquids in such a microfluidic system are not known yet. Third, it is unknown how to integrate such a system in a cyclotron or nuclear reactor.


We are looking for three candidate PhD-students who will investigate and develop such an innovative system. These PhD students will work in their own discipline and will act as a team at the same time, because all those disciplines are required to develop this technology.


PhD 1: A theoretical and numerical study to optimize isotope purification on microfluidic chips and the coupling to online irradiations facilities. Keywords: micro fluid dynamics, physical transport phenomena, liquid-liquid extraction, radiation transport (neutrons, gammas, …), numerical methods for fluid mechanics and radiation (Monte-Carlo)


PhD 2: An experimental investigation to novel surface modifications and fabrication processes of microfluidic chips that are resistant to high radiation levels. Keywords: microchip fabrication, atomic layer deposition, microfluidic liquid-liquid extraction studies, micro fluid dynamics, transport phenomena, image analysis


PhD 3: Experimental study to develop chemical purification methods for medical radioisotopes in microfluidic chips and integrate the developed setup in a cyclotron. Keywords: radiometals, microfluidic liquid-liquid extraction,  nuclear chemistry, inorganic and coordination chemistry, cyclotron production


This project is funded by NWO TTW and supported by NRG, URENCO, TRIUMF and UMCG.




We are looking for enthusiastic PhD students who


    have an MSc in a relevant field, such as chem. engineering, mech. engineering, (applied) physics, phys. chemistry, inorganic or coordination chemistry, materials science, fluid mechanics, nuclear chemistry;


    combine creativity with a sound academic attitude;


    have - depending of the position - excellent experimental, modelling, and/or simulation skills;


    have excellent communication skills in English, both in writing and speaking;


    are good team-players and able to work in a collaborative environment with the other two PhD students and supporting organisations.


Conditions of employment


TU Delft offers a customisable compensation package, a discount for health insurance and sport memberships, and a monthly work costs contribution. Flexible work schedules can be arranged. An International Children’s Centre offers childcare and an international primary school. Dual Career Services offers support to accompanying partners. Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities.


As a PhD candidate you will be enrolled in the TU Delft Graduate School. TU Delft Graduate School provides an inspiring research environment; an excellent team of supervisors, academic staff and a mentor; and a Doctoral Education Programme aimed at developing your transferable, discipline-related and research skills. Please visit for more information


Information and application


For more information about this position, please contact Dr. Martin Rohde, phone: +31 (0)15-2786962, e-mail:


To apply, please e-mail 1) a one-page motivation letter, 2) a detailed CV, 3) a grade list, 4) contact information of at least two references to Mrs. Trudy Beentjes, Clearly indicate the desired position (PhD1, PhD2, Phd3) in the subject of your email. Put everything in one PDF-file. Although the positions will remain open until filled, applicants are strongly encouraged to submit their applications before April 30, 2019. Intended start of the project is the 2nd half of 2019.



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