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The manufacturing industry that provides the basic hardware layer for our digital society needs ever better sensors to keep pace with miniaturization and throughput requirements, needing new breakthroughs in the metrology toolset. The development of molecular medicine for personalized healthcare needs tools to image, sense and interact on the bio-molecular scale. The holy optical grail in both industrial and biomedical applications is to realize extremely fast high resolution 3D imaging. To achieve this ambitious goal multi-wavelength coherent phase and polarisation sensitive imaging methods are required, using application specific electromagnetic illumination shaping, targeted detection methods as well as control loops and advanced computational methods such as inversion algorithms and AI. The diverse application areas will strongly benefit from this shared multi-modal approach in a single large research programme.
The scientific field in the Netherlands with its long tradition in both optical and electron microscopy, as well as in optical technology development is well positioned to tackle the 3D challenge. Multiple partners cooperate to pull biophysical and industrial application questions to technology development, and to translate novel technology to (pre)clinical research and industrial applications.
Envision program lines include, but are not limited to:
– Optical metrology, with coherent EUV and longer wavelengths to retrieve multi-scale 3D subwavelength structures using phase sensitive inversion methods.
– Super-resolution techniques, including structuring and scanning illumination light, single-molecule techniques, fluorescence control, computational aspects of data analysis, and molecular labelling technology.
– Multi-modal imaging, in which combinations of optical, electron, mechanical, or acoustic methods provide novel contrast mechanisms.
In all lines we foresee an important role for workflow methodology. There are multiple coupled instruments, with complex dataflow, and intricate trade-offs that require in-depth understanding and optimization. In addition, advanced control loops for interacting with the nanoscale environment using ultrafast measurement techniques can also be incorporated.