Research areas

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.

Grants & Awards
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