The Zernike Institute for Advanced Materials

The mission of the institute is design and scientific study of materials for functionality, and its strength lies in focused, curiosity-driven, symbiotic studies of functional materials involving researchers from physics, chemistry and biology. The main driving force is the desire to understand how things work at the microscopic level, also known as the molecular scale.

This is the realm of nanoscience and nanotechnology.

In this field, the Zernike Institute for Advanced Materials covers the whole chain from synthesizing materials, building devices, characterizing materials and devices, and investigating the theoretical foundation of their properties.

Possibly our greatest asset is the close collaboration between people with different backgrounds. Physicists and chemists, and increasingly biologists, theoreticians and experimentalists work closely together, giving the Institute a breadth rarely found elsewhere. In our efforts we involve the whole chain of knowledge; modelling, design, synthesis, characterization, physical properties, theory and device functionality.

Together with the “Stratingh Institute for Chemistry” and the “Groningen Biomolecular Sciences and Biotechnology Institute” we run the Advanced Materials program, which was awarded the status of national research centre (NRC) for materials science by the Dutch government in 1999. This distinction came with considerable additional funding, which has allowed our program to develop a long-term vision and plan. After thorough evaluation, our status as national research centre has been extended. The Zernike Institute NRC research program includes 40 faculty members, 80 researchers (permanent and temporary), 230 PhD students and 30 support staff.

The institute is a leading international research center and belongs to the Times Higher Education

Top 10 of best materials research institutes in the world.

Topmaster Program in Nanoscience

The Topmaster program in Nanoscience aims at an


training in modern materials science, with a focus on nanoscale phenomena. The Zernike Institute for Advanced Materials is responsible for the program. Teachers and supervisors associated with the program represent the excellent research groups taking part in the research program of the Zernike Institute. The courses are taught by top international scientists, and a large part of the program consists of actually conducting high-level scientific research. Students are submitted to a challenging and highly demanding curriculum, combining both the broadness and depth necessary for a successful research career in modern materials science.

Participants come from all over the world.

In 2012 the Dutch-Flemish Accreditation Organisation (NVAO) decided to extend the accreditation of the Top Master Program in Nanoscience until 2020. Furthermore, along with this decision the NVAO has decided to award the special label “excellent” to all main aspects of this Program: Intended learning outcomes, Teaching-learning environment, Assessment and achieved learning outcomes, and General conclusion of the assesment.

Commitee of recommendation


Caspar van der Wal

Scientific director ZIAM - Full Professor - Physics of Nanodevices

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Maria Antonietta Loi

Full Professor - Photophysics and OptoElectronics

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Kees Hummelen

Full Professor - (Bio)Organic Materials and Devices

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Bart van Wees

Spinoza Prize 2016 - Full Professor - Physics of Nanodevices

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Tamalika Banerjee

Associate Professor - Spintronics of Functional Materials

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Shirin Faraji

Associate Professor - Theoretical and Computational Chemistry

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Contact information:

Zernike Institute for Advanced Materials
Top Master Nanoscience 2017 students

Nijenborgh 49747 AG Groningen