Research Area: Hard Materials

Thin films and low-dimensional nanomaterials

Our research in the Hard Materials domain specializes in creating and characterizing thin films and in designing, modelling and constructing low-dimensional nanomaterials for electronic and optical applications.

Rapid developments in information technology are demanding more powerful and lower-energy electronics. This is resulting in a growing need for completely new architectures and components, as well as hybrid materials having optimal or completely new characteristics. The strength of this research area , which comprises very different but synergistic scientific disciplines, is that fundamental and more applied research go hand in hand and strengthen one another. Theory, model- forming and experimentation provide a fundamental understanding of the characteristics of low-dimensional nanomaterials, grown using advanced deposition techniques. With the help of this atomic engineering we are developing, for instance, circuits inspired by the brain, graphene-like materials such as silicene and germanene, and high-tech mirrors for the chip industry: fundamental physics with concrete applications.

facilities and ecosystem

Thanks to our expertise and high-quality facilities – including thin film deposition and measurement techniques of our own invention – research groups from all over the world, small and medium-sized companies, and leading high-tech companies such as ASML, Océ, Toyota, Tata Steel and Philips are keen to work closely with us. Our research has also led to the foundation of a number of spin-off companies.

Past & present performance
University of Twente joins prestigious battery consortium

The University of Twente has become a partner of the Alistore European Research Institute. Within this prestigious European network in the field of battery research, top-level research groups work in close collaboration to develop the batteries of the future.

UT scientists develop brain-inspired memory material

Thanks to a much larger variation in memory states, our brain can calculate faster than a computer while consuming less energy. Scientists of the MESA+ Institute now developed a ferro-electric material resembling synapses and neurons in the brain, resulting in a multistate memory.

Proper breeding ground for germanene

Germanene, the new cousin of graphene, seems to have properties that are even more attractive for application in electronics. Scientists of the MESA+ Institute managed to grow germanene on a semiconductor material, preserving the unique properties.

Lithium Werks and UT join forces

Energy management company Lithium Werks will build a major clean energy research and development (R&D) campus at Technology Base. Together with the University of Twente, the company will work on solutions for the energy transition.

An almost perfect material for research into quantum effects

Researchers at the MESA+ institute, together with researchers in Delft and Eindhoven, developed nanowires that allow individual electrons to be captured by a ‘quantum dot’ on which superconductivity can take place. These could play a role in developing quantum computers.


Grants & Awards