Applied Nanophotonics

The Applied NanoPhotonics (ANP) cluster at the University of Twente hosts the country’s largest concentration of optical scientists working in the field of nanophotonics.

Coming from a variety of disciplines, they are working together on the research and development of optical chips and their component parts. At ANP, fundamentals, theory, experiment and practical applications go hand in hand.

The miniaturization and speed of electronics is increasingly approaching fundamental limits. To make better, lower-energy, and faster devices possible one requires complementing electronic functions with photonic ones. This would make possible numerous innovations, such as advanced 5G networks, more accurate navigation systems, and faster processors. In the ANP cluster about 80 researchers are currently working on a variety of subjects such as photonic crystals that can store light, quantum-protected cyber security, advanced mirrors for the chip industry, quantum light processing in complex media and in programmable on-chip networks, or extremely precise, miniaturized lasers for integrated photonics. ANP researchers started the new research field “wavefront shaping” to focus light inside or beyond opaque media, for delivering new insights in the fundamentals of light propagation and to explore emerging applications. Together with industry, knowledge is developed for instance on free-form light scattering, photovoltaics, and for various sensing applications such as in water quality monitoring.

Quality and impact 

ANP is the prime academic partner in Twente for Photon Delta, the large (236M€) Dutch initiative on integrated photonics. ANP also participates in the Dutch Optics Centre (DOC). Together these two initiatives have written a National Agenda Photonics underlining the growing importance of photonics industry in the Netherlands and the need for a strong academic support of this. It has also brought the World Technology Mapping Forum to Twente in 2018 to define the global roadmap for integrated photonic systems. ANP scientists form the photonic core of the UT Quantum centre, represent the UT in the Quantum NL board, participate in the NWA Quantum Nano route and in various European Quantum Technology networks.

ANP is recognized through its strong embedding in a photonic industry ecosystem, comprising local to international companies, aided by the nanofabrication facilities of the Nanolab and by photonics being a key Research Area of the MESA+ Institute for Nanotechnology. ANP researchers have earned numerous personal grants: 4 ERCs, 1 Spinoza, 3 NWO Vici’s, 1 Vidi, 2 Veni’s, 1 NWO start-up, 2 Rubicon grants, and 2 TGS bridging grants. As further recognition ANP can count 1 KNAW member, 2 APS fellows, 1 EOS fellow, and currently 3 OSA fellows among its members.

our people

Our cluster unites the largest concentration of excellent scientists, inspiring teachers and talented students in the photonics domain. Everyone makes their own contribution to our research and education activities. Meet our people.


our 8 research specialisms 

The Applied NanoPhotonics cluster consists of several diverse, but synergetic, scientific groups who's activities are fully concentrated in the ANP cluster. Next to that we have a diversity of associated chairs, of which individual researchers take part in our activities:

Biomedical Photonic Imaging | Complex Photonic Systems | Laser Physics and Non-linear Optics | Optical Sciences | Industrial Focus Group XUV Optics* | Mathematics of Computational Sciences (EEMCS)* | Medical Cell BioPhysics* | Nano BioPhysics* | Photocatalytic Synthesis* | Nanobiophysics | Laser Physics and Nonlinear Optics

* Associated chairs from another faculty or cluster, with individual researchers taking part in ANP activities


our engagement in research and education

Based on our disciplinary strength and scientific excellence, our cluster engages in various initiatives, programs and projects in both teaching and research. The Applied NanoPhotonics cluster contributes to the excellent, multidisciplinary research within scientific institutes, such as MESA+ and TechMed Centre at the University of Twente. Next to that our cluster takes part in the Dutch Photon Delta consortium. Education is also one of our core tasks. Our people play a strong role in the Applied Physics and Nanotechnology curriculum.