PhD: Emerging techniques in impedance-based magnetic particle detection

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Location : Bilbao, Spain

Yearly income :


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Description of the offer :

About the project

Different types of biosensors use magnetic particles as a mean to drive, concentrate and detect analytes of interest, such as proteins, DNA or other biological markers, adequately binded to functionalized particles. The magnetic detection offers some advantages over optical or electrical sensing, because of the essentially null magnetic background of the biological species. Assuming that one of the key goals for a practical biosensor is to be small, the range of types of magnetometers that can be used to detect the stray field of magnetic particles is restricted mainly to giant magneto-resistance (GMR, including spin valves), Hall and integrated micro fluxgates sensors. Additionally, the magneto-impedance (MI) effect has demonstrated its capacity to detect the presence of magnetic particles with a sensibility to small magnetic fields at least comparable to the sensors mentioned above.

We propose in this project to study detection based on the MI effect, oriented to the application in biosensors. In this sense, the detection can be designed to be static in which the magnetic particle used as label and carrier is immobilized in the area of detection where the magnetometer measures the presence, and eventually the concentration, of the particles. Alternatively, a dynamic approach attempts to detect the particles while they are moving over the sensor. A combined and simpler approach is the use of lateral flow tests, in which the analyte reaches the detection zone by capillarity, and the measurement can be performed statically in a dedicated reader.

About the position

Three years full-time position in a research group in BCMaterials, an independent Research Centre in active and functional materials located near Bilbao in the Basque Country, north of Spain. The selected candidate will develop a PhD within the following research plan:

  • Selection and characterization of test magnetic particle systems to be detected. The magnetic permeability will be determined up to several gigahertzs.
  • Selection of geometry for MI materials. Numerical simulations by finite element method will be performed.
  • Fabrication of the sensing elements and measuring systems. The samples will be fabricated by photolithography and sputtering.
  • Measurements and test of detection capabilities. The impedance measurements will be based in RF measurement techniques.


  • Master's degree in Materials Science, Physics, Microbiology or related areas
  • English

Previous experience in the preparation and characterization of novel materials. Computing abilities will be positively considered.

Further information and How to apply

For more information see the attached PDF (See details).

To apply, send your CV, academic records of your degree, and contact details for 2 referees to:

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