Nanotechnology focuses on materials with a length scale of 1 to 100 nm, where traditional disciplines as physics, chemistry and engineering converge. It is the ability to control the structure of matter on that small scale, that allows us to develop novel materials and products, which will impact a wide range of application areas.

Nanotechnology is beyond doubt the technology of the future and is prospected to offer novel solutions to the grand challenges we face today!

Nanotechnology is beyond doubt the technology of the future and is prospected to offer novel solutions to the grand challenges we face today: (green) energy harvesting, information technology, homeland security, clean water, sufficient food production, but also new avenues towards treatment of human diseases, such as cancer, neurodegenerative diseases, diabetes, etc.

Saxion is the first University of Applied Sciences in the Netherlands with a research group in Nanotechnology. Its activities embody Saxion’s vision of a strong profile in Living Technology.


The NanoPhysics research group, headed by Cas Damen, aims to bridge the gap between fundamental technology developed at research centres, such as the MESA+ institute at the University of Twente, and applications based on societal challenges. The focus is on implementation of chip-based technologies. Specifically, the following technologies are being studied:

  • Integrated photonics
  • Microfluidics
  • Micro-electromechanical Systems (MEMS)

The Nanotechnology research group emerged from a joint initiative with Mesa+ Institute for Nanotechnology, University of Twente.

The Nanotechnology research group serves as a meeting point for students, staff, researchers and industry.

Nanotechnology service centre

The Nanotechnology research group serves as a meeting point for students, staff, researchers and industry. The department acts as a low-threshold service center, where students and industry can use nanotechnology-specific equipment and can work jointly on advanced research projects. A total project cycle is implemented, from conceptualization through product patent to development. Students of the nanotechnology study program are actively encouraged to contribute.

‘Point of Care Testing’ (POCT) is technology aimed at taking laboratory grade tests in the direct vicinity of a patient but outside a diagnostic laboratory (e.g. at home or at the GP’s office). POCT offers a lot of advantages: it’s faster, cheaper and opens up the way to tailored therapy. New technological advancements now make it possible to miniaturize these tests and thus create Lab-on-a-Chip systems for POCT-applications.

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The L.INT "Nanotronics" programme was formed under the umbrella of the NWO (the Dutch Scientific Research Organisation) and the TFF Centre of Expertise Oost. Two industrial partners, Salland Engineering and Sensata, also joined the programme from the start while the Dutch Space Research Organisation SRON fills the role of a scientific partner.

The L.INT has as a goal to improve the Reliability and Manufacturability of micro/nano devices typically used in the automotive, medical or industrial sector. These devices, commonly known as MEMS (Micro Electro Mechanical Systems) integrate various electronic, fluidic, mechanical, photonic etc. elements and functionalities on one microfabricated platform (also called a chip). To successfully design and manufacture such complex components, one needs to understand the practical side of how the different domains interact on the chip and determine the best ways to setup one's fabrication line including testing and assembly.

The output of the L.INT programme is to generate knowledge, methods and tools to tackle the above challenges. The focus lies on SMEs that operate in the field of micro/nano production.

Runtime: March 11, 2019 to March 10, 2023
Project leader: Aleksandar Andreski 

One of the major challenges for microsystem-based (MEMS1-based) devices producing companies in general, and Bronkhorst High-Tech in particular, is to determine as early as possible in the production process which devices perform within specifications and if so by how much. Being able to separate the devices that do not comply as early as possible in the assembly flow would prevent spending time, money and materials on unsellable products. Being able to further separate good devices in multiple “performance bins” would bring even more cost and waste reduction by enabling Bronkhorst to pre-select finished products for different customer requirements. In this project we specifically focus on a micromachined flow sensor which is considered for a scale-up in production volumes in the near future.

Projectduur: 1 januari 2020 t/m 31 december 2020

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Raak MKB Alignment aUtomation Tool for Optically Coupled single-Use sEnsors (AUTOCUE)

Various companies in diagnostic testing struggle with the same “valley of death” challenge. In order to further develop their sensing application, they rely on the technological readiness of easy and reproducible read-out systems. Photonic chips can be very sensitive sensors and can be made application-specific when coated with a properly chosen bio-functionalized layer. Here the challenge lies in the optical coupling of the active components (light source and detector) to the (disposable) photonic sensor chip. For the technology to be commercially viable, the price of the disposable photonic sensor chip should be as low as possible. The coupling of light from the source to the photonic sensor chip and back to the detectors requires a positioning accuracy of less than 1 micrometer, which is a tremendous challenge. 

Projectduur: 1 april 2020 t/m 31-7-2022

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Chiral molecules play a key role in biological systems such as bacteria, plants and animals. There is an increasing demand for analytical equipment to distinguish these 2 mirror image molecules, but there are no good solutions on the market yet. Mass Spectrometers (MS) represent an annual turnover of $ Billion by companies, institutions and universities. MS is by far the most important analytical technique for identifying molecules, but current MS techniques cannot directly distinguish the two equally heavy enantiomers of chiral molecules.

In this project, 3 important components are developed and integrated into one unique and innovative analysis system, with which the enantiomeric R / S composition of chiral molecules can be quickly and accurately analyzed.

The main applications will be in the laboratory analytics market for pharmaceutical research and quality control, in the flavor, fragrance and food industry and in the agrochemical (crop protection) industry. In addition, we foresee applications at government agencies in the field of medicinal, food safety and clinical health analysis, and in academic research laboratories.

Runtime: January 1, 2020 to December 31, 2022
Project leader: Cas Damen  


Within the NextGen PLD project, a consortium of Saxion,  TSST/Demcon, the University of Twente, Smarttip and Convergence will be developing an atomic force microscope (AFM) which can be used to image the growth of the thin layers by Pulsed Laser Deposition, under process conditions. If successful this instrument should make it possible to monitor the growth process in-situ (i.e. during the deposition). This unique project will lead to the cheaper and more efficient development of high-quality thin films, and yield more insight in the field of materials science.

Runtime: April 1, 2020 to March 31, 2023
Project leader: Tjeerd Bollmann 

EFRO Meteoriet “MEms Test voOR hoog-volume Innovatieve Elektronische Toepassingen”

The design and production of microelectronics - in other words: computer chips - is an art that defines "modern" in our life like no other current technology does. Beginning with the first miniaturisation of the transistor (the basic building block of an electronic circuit) in the 70s and continuing with that trend in the intervening decades, we are now at a point where billions of them can be integrated on a minuscule slice of Silicon (the materials chips are made of). This makes it possible to have electronic devices with unbelievable functionality in our back-pocket.
Next to these microelectronic components, we also often find integrated mechanical, photonic or fluidic elements. In this way mechanical motion can be detected, light can be generated or fluid flow can be measured and liquids analysed. This class of chips are generally called MEMS - Micro Electro Mechanical Systems - although they are not limited to only mechanical functionality.
An important step in the reliable production of MEMS is the testing of the chips. The partners in the project work together on developing new techniques and methods that will allow us to test and characterise the chips in an early stadium of production. The unique approach of the partners lies in the so-called "Model-Based Testing" where using purely electrical probing/signals one can determine the mechanical, fluidic or photonic functionality of the chip. In that way one needs not wait until the end of the production line when the final module is assembled in order to characterise the product or detect potential flaws. This eliminates waste and results in a more streamlined MEMS fabrication process.

Runtime: April 1, 2020 to June 30, 2022
Project leader: Aleksandar Andreski 

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Many (veterinary) diseases are accompanied by the secretion of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) in a specific composition. Detection of this VOC mixture in very low concentrations could help early detection, with possibilities for curing and prevention of spreading. To this end, the availability of a versatile, cheap, and yet very sensitive electronic nose system is needed. Such a system would consist of a generic sensor platform, based on micro- or nanotechnology in order to make it sufficiently sensitive, coated with capture layers, specific for the application. 

Projectduur: 1 november 2019 t/m 30 april 2021

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Why study nanotechnology?

Nanotechnology today plays a very important role in our lives and will undoubtfully increase its impact in the future. Whether in food, medicine, the environment, cosmetics or electronics, nanotech is the technology of the future! Consider the iPod, chemotherapy without side effects, self-cleaning glass windows and scratch resistant automotive paints. These are all nanotechnology enabled products. None of these would be there without nanotechnology. This is the reason why you want to study nanotechnology.

Nanotechnology specialization

If you are studying a BSc course in Biology and Medical Laboratory Research, Chemistry, Electrical Engineering, Applied Physics or Mechanical Engineering at Saxion, you may decide to take on the Nanotechnology study program, as a specialization within your BSc program. From the third year of your BSc course, you will dive into the world of nanotechnology. This implies taking a number of subjects in nanotechnology, doing a Living Technology project at one of the Nanotechnology lectorates, and choosing a nanotechnology-related subject for your internship and final thesis work. 

MSc Applied Nanotechnology

You can also go for the MSc Applied Nanotechnology course. This involves a 2-year MSc-level training in different subjects of applied nanotechnology research including numerous hands-on practicals (including cleanroom work) and projects related to ongoing research work in the research groups NanoBio and NanoPhysicsInterface.

More information about our Master programme can be found on the website of the Master Applied Nanotechnology.

See the Equipment page for the equipment used by the research group NanoPhysicsInterface.

News about this research group


The Nanotechnology research group and the study programme Nanotechnology are part of the School for Life Science, Engineering & Design of Saxion.

The team 

cas damen.jpg

Cas Damen

Professor NanoPhysics

Profielfoto Aleksandar Andreski

Dr. Aleksandar Andreski

Associate Lector Applied Nanotechnology

Profielfoto van Gerald Ebberink

Gerald Ebberink



Gerard Heesink

Senior reseacherlecturer NanoPhysics

Saara-Maarit Reijn

Saara-Maarit Reijn

Researcher/ lecturer NanoPhysics

Profielfoto Rory Dijkink

Dr. Ir. Rory Dijkink

Teacher/ Researcher

Profielfoto Tjeerd Bollmann

Dr. Ir. Tjeerd Bollmann

Senior researcher/ Lecturer Applied Nanotechnology

Romas Zubavicius

Junior researcher NanoPhysics

Profielfoto van Mandy ten Bloemendal

Mandy ten Bloemendal

Researcher/ Lab manager

Profielfoto Jonathan Montanes

Jonathan Montanes, BA

Project coördinator


Ashwin Jans

Junior researcher NanoPhysics

Kesley Bouwmeister

Junior researcher NanoPhysics