PhD Overview pic

We have 2 PhD studentship openings for 2018. Applications are open now! Please get in touch.

PhD to work on new tricks that enable imaging in scattering samples

Deadline: 31st January 2018
Title: Microscopy in scattering media
Funding: EPSRC - Fees & Scholarship
Apply: Online

imaging around corners The scattering of light in imaging is often regarded as a problem, but has more recently been recognised to allow unexpected tricks, for example, seeing around corners, illustrated on the left. In microscopy, when one images through a scattering medium it seems on first sight that all detail has been lost in a "fog". This is illustrated below with an image taken on our microscope. No clear features are recognisable in the recorded image, everything appears to be a blur. However, there is information about the object encoded in the image.

The blurred image is not completely featureless, it contains information in the form of a speckle pattern, a fine granular pattern of light and dark regions. Such speckle patterns are very familiar to those who have previously worked with coherent light sources, such as lasers. By clever image processing, the speciality of our collaborator Jacopo Bertolotti, we can recover the image of the actual object, as if no scattering had taken place. This is illustrated in the reconstruction that was calculated from the recorded image. It clearly shows a pattern in the shape of an "F", matching the actual test pattern that we had used.

scattering imaging The PhD project will focus on extending this method into a practical way to take microscopy images in samples that are currently regarded as too scattering to allow any meaningful imaging. Since many biological samples, such as bone or the brain, are made of such strongly scattering materials, the new methodology has major relevance for bio-imaging.

The 4-year PhD project is run through the highly regarded MetaMaterials CDT in Physics, and will be co-supervised by Jacopo Bertolotti and Christian Soeller. Please feel free to contact us, we are happy to discuss all aspects of the project.

For further details, and to apply online, please consult the advert.

PhD to work on 3D super-resolution microscopy with deformable mirrors

Deadline: 10th January 2018
Title: Microscopy With a Deformable Mirror
Funding: EPSRC - Fees & Scholarship
Apply: Online

In astronomy, adaptive optics using deformable mirrors has revolutionised ground based observation.

In microscopy, we have only recently begun to use deformable mirrors for flexible and dynamic control of the optical properties. Deformable mirrors enable us to change the optical aberrations, either to compensate for aberrations in the system, or, as we intend here, to deliberately introduce aberrations that allow us to improve the ability to localise individual molecules in 3D.

mems deformable mirror In the project we will use a MEMS deformable mirror (see on the right) to dynamically control the properties of the microscope optics. This will allow us to build 3D super-resolution images of much improved quality, which is critical in the imaging of biological samples, such as animal and plant cells. The resolution improvement as compared to confocal microscopy is quite dramatic.

Phase Ramp
ImagingThe project builds on our very successful Phase Ramp Technology which is now used commercially in all Zeiss Elyra super-resolution microscopes.

The project will provide training in imaging, computing and optical design. Supervision is provided by Christian Soeller, Alex Corbett and Mike Deeks. Please feel free to contact us, we are happy to discuss all aspects of the project.

For further details, and to apply online, please consult the advert.