Optical Sciences

Biomolecules and nanostructures

The Optical Sciences group studies the interaction of light and matter at the nanoscale. We do this by exploring ways to shape light and its environment. It's what we call active and passive control. Our current focus is on the interaction of light with biomolecules and nanostructures. We are part of Twente University's Department of Science and Technology and member of the MESA+ institute.
We participate in the EU-COST actions MP1102: Coherent Raman microscopy (MicroCor) and CM1202: Supramolecular photocatalytic water splitting (PERSPECT-H2O)


Active Control

Active control of the amplitude and phase of femtosecond light pulses allows us to create optical melodies. Such tailored pulse shapes can be fine tuned to specific electronic and vibrational response of a molecule to control its behavior in real time. We are pursuing applications in spectroscopy, medical diagnostics or treatment and the optimization of solar cell materials.

Passive Control

The direct (nano-)environment of a molecule influences its interaction with light. Collective (plasmon) oscillations can be excited on structured surfaces, decay can be enhanced or delayed and light can be made to refract in extraordinary ways in the right combination of materials. We design and create these environments, and then study the light and molecules within them.

Technology Development

The creation of nanostructures, the control of fields with interferometric precision and the detection of the emission of single molecules requires state of the art technology. We develop this technology to create the smallest structures and most sensitive detection, for the benefit of our own research and others in the MESA+ institute.


march 20, 2014

Opening new OS gallery

  A joyous occasion was had by all during the opening of the new art gallery of the Optical Sciences group. The OS art gallery celebrates the artistic potential of the scientific measurements with a collection of artwork prepared by OS group members. To display 3D content, a Wheatstone mirror stereoscope setup was built by Frans and Simon. Opening OS gallery 2014

feb 2014

Sonia García Blanco moderates Women in Optics panel on SPIE Photonics West 2014

  Central topic topic during this Women in Optics Panel on the SPIE Photonics West conference 2014 was the differences between a career in academia and industry and the transition between them.
Women in Optics Panel SPIE Photonics West 2014

jan 2014

2014: New year, new subgroup

  OS is pleased to announce the official start of the Integrated Optical Systems (IOS) subgroup within our research team. IOS is headed by assistant professor Dr. Sonia Garcia Blanco and supported by technician Meindert Dijkstra, both formerly affiliated with the Integrated Optics and MicroSystems (IOMS) group of the UT. Welcome to Sonia, Meindert, Jinfeng, Mustafa, Ron, Sergio and Yean-Sheng! For details of IOS research activities, please visit the personal page of Dr. Sonia García Blanco.

oct 16, 2013

Optical Sciences sponsors the Yellow Cab Studiereis

  The Arago Study Tour to the United States is sponsored by the Optical Sciences group.

oct 11, 2013

TEDx talk Simon Huisman

  On october 11, the a TEDx event - an independently organized TED event - was organized on the University of Twente. On this day, Simon Huisman gave a talk on "Imaging through opaque layers". If you missed this: you can check it on youtube.
For more information on the TEDx event including all the speakers, visit the TEDx TwenteU website.

sept 19, 2013

Andrew Fussell wins the award for 'Best student poster presentation' at the '1st EOS Topical Meeting on Frontiers in Optical Imaging (FOI2013)

  Andrew Fussell wins the award for 'Best student poster presentation' at the '1st EOS Topical Meeting on Frontiers in Optical Imaging (FOI2013)'. This conference of the European Optical Society (EOS) was held in Murten, Switzerland on 16-18 sept. 2013.
  poster award Andrew Fussell FOI2013 Murten Switzerland

sept 11, 2013

Promotion Simon Huisman

  On 11 September 2013 Simon Huisman successfully defended his PhD work, entitled "Light Control with Ordered and Disordered Nanophotonic Media". This work was carried out at the Complex Photonic Systems chair (COPS) and the Optical Sciences chair (OS), under the supervision of Pepijn Pinkse, Jennifer Herek, and Willem Vos.

june 14, 2013

Optical Sciences rules the sportsday

  on thursday the 13th of june, Arago - the study association for applied physics at the Univ. of Twente - organised a sportsday for all students/members of the faculty.
Thanks to our excellent team spirit (and yes, mainly thanks to Rick) we gloriously won this battle.

dec 20 2012

Best Wishes


july 26 2012

OS Bachelors BOOM!

The Optical Sciences group is quite popular among Bachelor's students; at the moment there are 8 students from the Twente University and 2 from the Lawrence University (USA) working in the group. New Bachelor's students are allways welcome, just ask about possibilities; projects can be tailored to your interests.  

march 19 2012

EU COST grant awarded to Erik Garbacik

  The European Cooperation in Science and Technology (COST) has awarded Erik Garbacik a grant to spend one month working at the group of Dr. Julian Moger at the University of Exeter, UK on phase-resolved CARS imaging and spectroscopy of gold nanoparticles and graphene. Detailed understanding of the nonlinear optical properties of these materials has wide-ranging implications for both fundamental and applied research.

march 6 2012

Exhibition 'de Realisten' and Optical Sciences in MESA+ Nanolab hallway

  In the framework of the SART & Science project, the artists Carel Lanters and Jan Wierda (de Realisten) collaborated with the Optical Sciences group to put up an exhibition in which one can view nanometric structures in 3D.
The structures - gold particles - are imaged by Frans Segerink using a Scanning Electron Microscope in the MESA+ Nanolab. The exhibition is located next to the MESA+ Nanolab, at the hallway towards the Zuidhorst building.
overview photo exhibition a 2D photo of the 3D view

feb 28 2012

Jennifer Herek first Dean of the ATLAS University College

  In 2013, a new bachelors program will start at the University of Twente - the Academy of Technology and Liberal Arts & Sciences (ATLAS). ATLAS is a intensive bachelors program for highly motivated and talented students who want to develop themselves in a broad perspective and who want to be relevant for the future society. Jennifer Herek will be the dean of this new University College. Refer to http://www.utwente.nl/bachelor/atlas/ for more information.
Jennifer Herek will keep her current position as professor of the Optical Sciences group as well

feb 24 2012

PRL Cover article Simon Huisman

  The article "Observation of Sub-Bragg Diffraction of Waves in Crystals" of Simon Huisman et al. is published in Physical Review Letters. An artistic impression of the photonic crystal - made by T.J. Huisman - is shown on the cover of the PRL issue. This work is based on measurements that Simon did during his masters' project in the COPS group of the University of Twente.

jan 18 2012

Poster Prize for Simon Huisman

  Simon Huisman wins the € 750 poster prize at Physics@FOM Veldhoven 2012. His poster entitled "Photonic-crystal waveguides with disorder: measurement of a band-edge tail in the density of states" impressed the jury by deep physical insights and excellent presentation. Simon Huisman conducts his research at MESA+ in close collaboration with FOM institute AMOLF and the Niels Bohr institute.
Poster Simon Huisman Physics@FOM 2012 (9.15MB)

dec 16, 2011

PRL article Erik Garbacik

  The article Background-Free Nonlinear Microspectroscopy with Vibrational Molecular Interferometry of Erik Garbacik et al. is published in Physical Review Letters

nov 25 2011

Overijssel PhD award for Martin Jurna

  Martin Jurna is awarded for his thesis Vibrational Phase Contrast CARS microscopy. The prize for the best PhD thesis of a UT promovendus was given to Martin by the Queen's commissioner Ank Bijleveld during the Dies Natalis ceremony of the University of Twente.

nov 1 2011

Annemarie Huijser starts as an assistent professor

  We are happy to announce we that have a new assistent professor, Annemarie Huijser. Annemarie worked as Ph.D student in the Opto-electronic Materials group of the Delft University of Technology and worked as a postdoc in the Chemical Physics department of the Lund University, Sweden in the field of ultrafast photochemistry.

march 22 2011

European Conference on Nonlinear Optical Spectroscopy (ECONOS) and European CARS Workshop (ECW)

  Together with Cees Otto of the Medical Cell Biophysics group, The Optical Sciences group is hosting the upcoming joint conference of Econos and ECW - 23th untill the 25th of may 2011 on the Twente University campus.

march 15 2011

Erik Garbacik wins poster prize NWO Velthoven

  Erik Garbacik has won the "Best Poster Award - 1st Prize" at the Spectroscopy and Theory section of the NWO Scientific Meeting on Chemistry, held in Veldhoven on 14-15 March 2011. It was particularly awarded for the use of a video display (iPad) integrated within the poster showing the "molecular rollercoaster".

march 04 2011

Jennifer Herek wins prize for best lecturer

  Prof. Dr. Jennifer Herek has been chosen as the best lecturer of the Applied Physics, Twente University. The Applied Physics study association Arago organised this poll where Arago members could vote.

januari 10, 2011

Dr. Herman Offerhaus program leader in research collaboration on water research

  particles in water The dutch research fund FOM and the centre of excellence for sustainable water technology Wetsus have signed a contract for the launch of a joint fundamental research in the field of water purification and quality control. In the coming five years, this research will be performed in the laboratories of Wetsus, the University of Twente, the FOM institute AMOLF and the Technical University Delft. The aim is to strengthen their position as the Dutch high-tech country in the field of water.
Together with the adjacent water molecules, particles dissolved in water form a new combined particle with new properties. Understanding how these combined particles behave is essential for the development of new purification techniques.
In the Optical Sciences lab, non-linear spectroscopical techniques will be used to study the behaviour of these combined particles.
For more information, refer to the joint press release of FOM and Wetsus on this subject (in Dutch).

september 15 2010

Article of Martin Jurna et al. on cover page of Analytical Chemistry

  A measurement from the article of Martin Jurna et al. in Analytica Chemistry is shown on the cover page of that issue of Analytical Chemistry

februari 04 2010

NWO "Vici" proposal of Jennifer Herek gets granted.

  The dutch research fund "Nederlandse Organisatie voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek" (NWO) has granted the Vici proposal of Jennifer Herek. From this subsidy, which is 1.5 Million euros maximum, 3 pHD's and a technical support engineer will be appointed to work on artificial molecules on the nanoscale.

juli 23 2009

Martin Jurna, Jeroen Korterik, Cees Otto, Jennifer Herek and Herman Offerhaus publish in Physical Review Letters: "Vibrational Phase Contrast Microscopy by Use of Coherent Anti-Stokes Raman Scattering".

  more info

july 09 2009

Martin Jurna appears on dutch national tv in "Noorderlicht Nieuws" with his CARS microscope.

  The VPRO Noorderlicht website
View on uitzendinggemist.nl

june 09 2009

Frans Segerink wins the "Mesa+ photo contest 2009", Martin Jurna gets the 3rd prize.

  Every year, the research institute Mesa+ of the University of Twente organises a photo contest in which one can submit any picture/image that is made in the Mesa+ instutute.
Picture Frans 1st prize Mesa+ photo contest 1st prize (F.B. Segerink):
"An image of a nanostructure that unfortunately did not make it.
The electron microscope image shows a piece of glasfiber which was pulled into a very sharp end (diameter < 100 nm), subsequently coated with aluminium.
With a focused ion beam machine, you can remove the coating at the very end of the fiber, so that it can be used as a nano-lightsource in a near field optical microscope.
In this case however, the producer (yours truly) obstructed this fine destination by mounting the fiber not too gentle in the dual beam machine (a combined focused ion- and electron beam).
The image shows signs of charging by the electronbeam of uncoated areas."
Picture Martin 3rd prize Mesa+ photo contest 3rd prize (M. Jurna):
"An image of tissue from beef, showing in red with CARS microscopy several fat cells and in green with SHG microscopy collagen fibers"

may 05 2009

Peter v.d. Walle, Maaike Milder, Kobus Kuipers and Jennifer Herek publish in PNAS: "Quantum control experiment reveals solvation-induced decoherence".

  For more information, refer to the newsitem on the website of the University of Twente and the newsitem on the website of the Dutch Foundation for Fundamental Research on Matter (FOM) or read the full pdf of the article

april 13 2009

Martin Jurna appeared in the dutch national tv show "de Wereld draait door"

  Martin Jurna appeared in the dutch national tv show "de Wereld draait door" on april 13, 2009.
Robbert Dijkgraaf, the head of the dutch science research institute Koninklijke Academie van Nederlandse Wetenschappen (KNAW) invited Martin along with 2 other young scientific researchers in this show.

march 11 2009

Newsitem on RTV Oost and nu.nl featuring Martin Jurna's work

  Newsitem on the regional broadcast station RTV Oost and the dutch website www.nu.nl about the visualisation of drug release from a pharmaceutical tablet.

march 03 2009

Jurna et al visualises the release of a drug from a pharmaceutical tablet using Coherent Anti-Raman Scattering.

  For more information, check the press release of the Twente University about this subject (in dutch).
The article "Chemical Imaging of Oral Solid Dosage Forms and Changes upon Dissolution Using Anti-Stokes Raman Scattering Microscopy" of Maike Windbergs, Martin Jurna, Herman Offerhaus, Jennifer Herek, Peter Kleinebudde and Clare Strachan appeared in the March issue of Analytical Chemistry. Hires images and a video are available through Huub Eggen of the dutch technology foundation STW.

OT projects

The so called 'Optical Techniques (OT) projects' are research projects that were inherited from the period that Niek van Hulst was still the chair of the group. At that time, Optical Sciences group was called the Optical Techniques group.

The research focus was more on near field optics and single molecule detection by means of confocal microscopes and Near Field Scanning Microscopes (NSOM) utilizing fluorescence detection.

Research Support

Our research is being supported in part by the following organizations, to whom we are grateful:

Optical Sciences group - Department of Science & Technology University of Twente

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