Senior Scientist Optical Chemical Sensing | Eindhoven

As Scientist Chemical Sensing you are responsible for advanced research in the field of chemical interactions between materials and optical (spectroscopic) sensing platforms, developing signal amplification solutions based on both material and nanophotoni



Education type




Hours a week

Fulltime – 40


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What will you be doing?

The development of chemical sensors within the department is based on the knowledge of the chemical interactions between materials, and the physical interactions between materials and electromagnetic radiation. We develop chemically responsive coating materials specifically tuned to the target molecules, and apply these coatings to a large variety of sensor platforms (optical, electronic, MEMS, …).

Depending on the application, the most suitable platform is selected. The current technology development involves: electronic gas sensors for gas composition measurements (application area: Geo Energy) and integrated optic gas sensors for outdoor air quality and pollution monitoring, (applications areas: Environment and Sustainability, Health). The current job opening will be mainly focused on further development of optical gas sensors, based on the integration of infrared spectroscopy and material interactions. Specific emphasize in the developments lies on low cost and miniaturized sensor devices. The sensor coatings we develop are based on polymers, ceramics and metal-organic compositions. Besides the coating chemistry, also application processes need to be developed.

You will help building the technology roadmap of the chemical sensor program. This involves the development of technological solutions from both a theoretical and practical perspective, defining new research topics, and acquiring new projects fitting in the program. Typical work activities are:
  • Content management of research projects focused on sensor development, including material design and synthesis, optical and/or spectroscopic sensing solutions, coating development, characterization, building prototypes etc.;
  • Coordinating the work of scientists and research assistants in research projects;
  • Development and acquisition of new research projects and consortia in your field of expertise; You’ll be responsible for:
  • Excellent execution of research projects;
  • Communication with customers / partners on scientific progress and project results;
  • Actively driving new project definition and acquisition in your expertise;
  • Maintaining a network with academic and industrial partners.
  • Publishing and presenting your work, both internally and externally;
  • Contributing to the development of the chemical sensor program.

What do we require of you?

We are looking for a chemical or material scientist with a strong background in material properties and interactions with light, preferably with experience in the field of chemical sensors. Although you will be working in a multi-disciplinary team, a broad overview of the field of chemical sensors from material development to application and testing will be needed. This also includes knowledge about the physics of sensor platforms (e.g. optics and electronics). A PhD in the field of integrating material technology and optics, or proven experience in a relevant field is required. Experience with coating development, chemistry, electronics is an advantage.

You have experience in leading a team of scientists and research assistants, with competences in colloid chemistry, organic chemistry, polymer chemistry, coatings, optical and electronic material characterization. You are a good communicator and able to express your thoughts and findings in a clear concise manner, both orally and written.

You are pro-active in stakeholder management (both internally and externally), and will contribute to the further development of the sensor program. You will shape new research projects and will be active in project acquisition fitting the program. Experience in this field is very relevant, and a good academic and industrial network is clearly an advantage.

What can you expect of your work situation?

The TNO Materials Solutions department has a strong track record in the development of innovative nanomaterials, nanostructured coatings and polymer nanocomposites. The key challenge for the research group lies in the development of innovative materials with advanced functional properties that are tailored for a specific application, by controlling their chemical composition with nano and/or micro structures. Obviously, technically efficient and cost effective production of such materials is a highly relevant aspect of the work.
The research group combines the expertise areas Colloid Chemistry, Wet-Chemical Coatings and Polymer Materials, together with Material Modelling and Heterogeneous Catalysis, to develop such advanced material properties, ranging from passive / programmable functionalities to adaptive and even active functionalities in longer term.
The group focusses on the development of materials that: (1) improve the safety and efficiency of geo-energy, (2) facilitate energy conversion and subsequent storage, (3) can be applied for additive manufacturing, (4) regulate the energy flux through building envelopes and (5) improve the performance and recyclability of thermoplastic composites for lightweight automotive.
The development of materials for Geo Energy (1) and Energy Conversion & Storage (2) is carried out in the framework of TNO’s unit Energy and the early research program Energy Conversion & Storage respectively. The development of materials for Additive Manufacturing (3), Sustainable Building Envelopes (4) and Lightweight Automotive (5) is carried out in form of dedicated shared research programs within the Brightlands Materials Center.
Brightlands Materials Center
Brightlands Materials Center is a joint research center of TNO and Chemelot Scientific Participations B.V. in the field of polymeric materials, performing programmatic research that is driven by the industrial and societal challenges of tomorrow. Brightlands Materials Center offers a meeting place at the Brightlands Chemelot Campus in Geleen, and a close collaboration with a global network of leading companies along the value chain and renowned universities and institutes, see also
The research group has well equipped laboratory facilities in Eindhoven and in Geleen, at the Brightlands Materials Center, and works together with a variety of industrial partners, as well as with actors from the knowledge infrastructure, including other research organizations and universities. The work is typically contained in multi-year and multi-client research and technological development projects, including those within the context of the European Framework Programs.
Currently there is an opening in the field of Chemical Sensing, focusing on environmental and personal monitoring. For this vacancy, the working location will be in Eindhoven.

What can TNO offer you?

Work enjoyment means something different for each employee. This is why we offer a-la-carte terms and conditions of employment that you can switch around on a monthly basis. Flexible working hours (like 4 days x 9 hours) and different leave schemes mean that you can create a package attuned to your specific wishes.
TNO attaches great value to both your personal and your professional development. Many opportunities exist for you to develop: conferences, courses, workshops, coaching, intervision, mentoring and job rotation. At TNO you can orchestrate your own career.

Application process

You can apply till the 31st of May. The process comprises at least two (selection) rounds. After a positive selection, we will finish off the process by discussing terms and conditions of employment. We try to complete the interviews and assessment within 4 weeks.

Has this vacancy sparked your interest?

Then please feel free to apply on this vacancy! For further questions don’t hesitate to contact us.

Recruiter: Joost Heide, ter
Mobile phone: +31 (0)6-141 83979

Hiring manager: Jan Pieter Maurice
Phone number: 08886 65764

Note that applications via email and third party applications are not taken into consideration.


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Dr. Jan Pieter Maurice, MSc


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