Advanced microscopy

Project title

High sensitivity microscopy based on Bloch surface waves

Project type

Optical system design and engineering


Bloch surface-waves (BSW) are electromagnetic waves propagating at an interface between two media, one of which being periodically structured. Remarquably, BSWs can display a strong evanescent field that extends in the continuous outer medium. This large evanescent field can be used for many applications including ultra sensitive surface sensing (gas, liquid, molecules, etc…). Interestingly, it can also be used to provide local excitation of microscopy specimens and, in turn, enable higher level of sensitivity.

Goal of the project

The aim of the project is to design, assemble and test an automated optical setup that can be used for the excitation and characterization of Bloch surface waves on specialized substrates. The main steps of the project include:

  1. optical design and simulation of the optical train
  2. mechanical design and assembly of the setup
  3. automation using basic electronic and software interfacing, typically using LabVIEW

The final setup will be tested using custom substrates and the sensitivity of the approach will be estimated.

Candidate profile

This is a rather ambitious and multidisciplinary project requiring knowledge in optics, interfacing and mechanics. It would be ideally suited for a highly motivated and proactive student with a strong sense of engineering.