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At MESA+, we believe in realising grand solutions with the extremely small. We contribute to solving current and future societal challenges. We do this by using our fascination with the extremely small. We bring societal challenges inside and use our fascination to work on innovative and sustainable solutions. We focus on societal challenges in four application areas: HealthAgriFood & Water, Security, and Energy & Sustainability.

With our research, we contribute to a fair, sustainable and digital society.

Embracing a cross-disciplinary approach and benefiting from the MESA+ NanoLab, over 500 researchers deliver high quality, frequently ground-breaking research. MESA+ actively seeks collaboration with external partners providing an excellent setting for consortium formation. Next to our excellent scientists and facilities, we offer a strong regional ecosystem that creates the breeding ground to let ideas blossom and grow to relevant, successful solutions and businesses.

Founded in 1921, the Netherlands’ Physical Society (NNV) is the organization representing physicists in The Netherlands. NNV stands up for physics in secondary and higher education and scientific research in The Netherlands. NNV aims to contribute to a strong knowledge base and an excellent scientific research environment.

NNV serves the interests of all Dutch physicists, whether they are employed in research, education, private companies or government. The society fosters contact between its members and individuals abroad, societies and organizations in the field of physics. NNV organizes conferences, is involved in improvement and innovation of Dutch science education and the society supports outreach activities, specifically targeting students in elementary and secondary schools. NNV has initiated the website and publishes the NTvN, the Dutch Journal for Physics.

NNV’s sections are dedicated to various subfields of physics, the private sector and education. Each section organizes specific activities, e.g. conferences.

XUV in a nutshell

We perform research on optical coatings and materials for extreme ultraviolet (XUV) light with a wavelength of few nm to few 10’s of nm. Natural materials have high absorption and small refractive index in this wavelength range. Therefore reflective optical elements need a multilayer coating which reflects XUV light based on interference, while transmissive optical elements have to be freestanding membranes of only ~10 nm thickness.

Research in the XUV group

While the application of our coatings is optical, the actual research at XUV mostly deals with material science of thin films and surfaces. A typical multilayer coating consists of 50 or more periods of a least 2 layers that are few nm thick. Roughness and intermixing at interfaces should be avoided, because this degrades the optical contrast. We perform fundamental research on how interfaces between materials form and apply this knowledge to develop processes that can be implemented by our industrial partners. Our main deposition technique is physical vapour deposition. For analysis we use amongst others X-ray reflectivity, electron spectroscopy, ion scattering and atomic force microscopy.
Next to research on making optical coatings, we also study how optical coatings and materials resist irradiation by photons and plasma. In this way we develop strategies to extend the lifetime of optical coatings in their final application.

Opportunities for students

When you choose to perform a BSc or MSc assignment in our group, you will learn how to use state-of-the art thin film coating and analysis equipment to push the limits of interface engineering at atomic length scales. In our group we both do applied projects and more theoretical research. There is big chance that you get involved with contacts of our industrial partners Carl Zeiss SMT, ASML and Malvern Panalytical.


We investigate the use of light for medical purposes. Our final aim is to develop optical and hybrid optical-acoustical technologies for medical diagnosis, in particular in the fields of oncology and wound healing. Physiological properties of primary interest to us are microcirculatory blood flow, hemoglobin concentrations, and blood oxygenation. Our approaches include physical research into light-tissue interaction and its measurement, biomedical engineering to realize suitable instrumentation for in vivo use, and clinical evaluation together with several medical partners.