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Research institute AMOLF is part of the institutes organization of Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO).[1] AMOLF carries out fundamental research on the physics and design principles of natural and man-made complex matter. AMOLF uses these insights to create novel functional materials and find new solutions to societal challenges in renewable energy, green ICT and healthcare. AMOLF is located at the Amsterdam Science Park.[2]

AMOLF 2012.jpg
AMOLF 2012
LeaderHuib Bakker
about 200
AMOLF was founded in 1949

AMOLF used to be part of the Dutch Foundation for Fundamental Research on Matter (FOM). On 31 December 2016 FOM integrated in NWO.[3]



The institute was established in 1949 by the government as the FOM Laboratory for Mass Spectrography. In 1960, it was renamed to Laboratory for Mass Separation, and in 1966 it was reorganized into a research institute and renamed FOM Institute for Atomic and Molecular Physics (AMOLF).[4]

The original research goal was to demonstrate the separation of uranium isotopes by electromagnetic separation methods, a topic of great strategic importance after World War II. To reach this goal, a number of novelanalytical instrumentation were developed, starting with the development of mass-spectrometric tools. In 1953 AMOLF was the first European institute to successfully enrich Uranium. Soon after, research on thermal diffusion in gases followed, as did ultracentrifuge concepts, cathode dispersion, excitation of gases by using energetic ions and research on molecular beams. The gas-ultracentrifuge developed at AMOLF (under Jacob Kistemaker [nl]) provided a base for the commercial enrichment of Uranium at the today well-known company of URENCO in Almelo.

Structure and organizationEdit

AMOLF functions as an incubator for Dutch science, both in terms of launching new research themes and in terms of training talented scientists. AMOLF is headed by its director Huib Bakker, who succeeded Vinod Subramaniam [nl] on 1 February 2016. The organization has 19 research groups headed by tenured or tenure-track group leaders. AMOLF employs about 130 researchers and 70 employees for technical and administrative support.


AMOLF’s research program consists of four intertwined themes.[5]

  • Nanophotonics:[6] controlling and manipulating light with structures at the nanometer scale
  • Nanophotovoltaics:[7] improving solar cells with nanomaterials
  • Designer Matter:[8] research and design of new smart materials
  • Living Matter:[9] research of biomaterials and multi-cellular systems

AMOLF publishes each year on average 15 PhD theses and over 120 papers.[10]

Notable researchersEdit


  1. ^ "Welcome to NWO". Retrieved 2018-10-24.
  2. ^ "Amsterdam Science Park Science and Business | Amsterdam Science Park". Retrieved 2018-10-24.
  3. ^ "NWO Transition - NWO-I". NWO-I. Retrieved 2018-10-24.
  4. ^ "History of AMOLF". AMOLF. Retrieved 18 January 2017.
  5. ^ "Research - AMOLF". AMOLF. Retrieved 2018-10-24.
  6. ^ "Nanophotonics Research Program". AMOLF. Retrieved 2018-10-24.
  7. ^ "Nanophotovoltaics Research Program". AMOLF. Retrieved 2018-10-24.
  8. ^ "Designer Matter Research Program". AMOLF. Retrieved 2018-10-24.
  9. ^ "Living Matter Program". AMOLF. Retrieved 2018-10-24.
  10. ^ "Publications - AMOLF". AMOLF. Retrieved 2018-10-24.
  11. ^ "Prof dr A.M. (Marileen) Dogterom". NWO. Retrieved 15 June 2018.

External linksEdit