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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Grants & Awards