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
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.
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.
In the fast emerging field of Integrated Optics, our research focusses on Active Nanophotonic Devices: development of novel on-chip active devices (lasers and amplifiers) based on heterogeneous integration of rare-earth doped gain materials on passive photonic platforms, Integrated Optical Sensors and novel devices based on the combination of plasmonics and integrated optics
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.
NewsitemsJan 23, 2017
Presenation by Dr. Patty Stabile, COBRA Research Institute, TU/e (NL),
On Monday the 23rd, Dr. Patty Stabile will give a presentation for our group entitled "Towards Large Scale Photonic Integrated Circuits for Packet-Switched Interconnections".
Patty works in the Electro-Optical Communications group (ECO) which is part of the COBRA research institute of the University of Technology Eindhoven (NL).
Nov 24, 2016
Permanent position for Annemarie Huijser
We are very happy to announce that the temporary position of Annemarie Huijser is converted into a tenured one. As her research has significant overlap with activities in the PhotoCatalytic Synthesis (PCS) group, she will also move to PCS, while of course maintaining the connections with the OS group!
Nov 15, 2016
Yean-Sheng in the spotlight
Yean-Sheng Yong and his wife Way-Ying Yip are interviewed by www.twente.com - the Twente branding website that promotes the high-tech region in which our university is situated. Yean-Sheng and Way-Ying tell about their nice experiences as an expat in Twente / the Netherlands.
Oct 27, 2016
PhD Defense Qing Pan
Qing Pan succesfully defended his PhD thesis "Early-time photodynamics of ruthenium-based photocatalysts for light-induced hydrogen generation".
aug 31, 2016
Cover article ChemPhysChem Qing Pan / Annemarie Huijser
The article "The Critical Role Played by the Catalytic Moiety in the Early-Time Photodynamics of Hydrogen-Generating Bimetallic Photocatalysts" by Qing Pan et al is featuring the cover of ChemPhysChem 17/2016.
In comparison to the Ru/Pd photocatalyst, the Ru/Pt analogue shows complex excited state dynamics with three distinct kinetic components ranging from sub-ps to 100 ps, requiring a more sophisticated photophysical model than for the Ru/Pd complex. A new T3 excited state is observed to quench triplet metal-to-ligand charge transfer (3MLCT) states. These insights shed light on the significant impact of the catalytic moiety on the fundamental early-time photophysics of Ru-based photocatalysts.
june 27, 2016
Novel design strategy for hydrogen generating molecular photocatalysts
An international collaboration coordinated by Qing Pan and Annemarie Huijser has resulted in a new design approach for hydrogen generating photocatalysts. The authors observed that violating the commonly accepted state-of-the-art design strategy strongly improves the hydrogen generation efficiency. The novel approach shows high promise for efficient direct conversion of sunlight into green fuel. The results are published in the leading journal Chemical Communications.
link to the article
feb. 09, 2016
Cedric Noordam wins IEEE Photonics Benelux poster prize
At the annual symposium of the Benelux chapter of the IEEE Photonics Society, Cedric Noordam received the award for best poster. The poster is based on his work at the Optical Sciences group.
OSA spotlight article highlights collaborative PCF/OS work
Article on optical measurement of ultrasonic pressure fields highlighted in OSA spotlight.
The recent article by Jorick van ‘t Oever on imaging local acoustic pressure fields inside microfluidic channels was highlighted in an OSA spotlight note by Prof. Henrik Bruus and Prof. Thomas Laurell. Bruus and Laurell stress the relevance of this independent, tracer-free method to monitor pressure fields for the further development of the rapidly growing area of acoustically controlled microfluidic devices. Their complete OSA spotlight article can be found here>.
sept. 17, 2015
Optical Sciences co-organising the Women in Photonics in NL symposium
Sonia Garcia Blanco is organising the Women in Photonics in NL symposium with the support from Karen Munnink and Jeroen Korterik. The symposium is being held at the University of Twente, oct. 28th 2015.
Hot topic talk at Femtochemistry by Annemarie Huijser
Research by Qing Pan, Annemarie Huijser and collaborators is selected for a ‘hot topic’ talk at the international Femtochemistry conference. abstract
june 1, 2015
Associate Professor position for Sonia Garcia Blanco
We are very happy that the Tenure Track committee has decided positively on the work of Sonia Garcia Blanco and awarded her with an associate professor position. This means that her temporary contract is converted to a tenured one.
may 26, 2015
ERC Consolidator Grant for Sonia Garcia Blanco
Sonia Garcia Blanco had a successful grant application for the project RENOS (Rare-earth doped novel on-chip sources).
With the Consolidator Grant, the European Research Council (ERC) facilitates excellent researchers who have proven they are able to lead their own research group.
The ultimate goal of RENOS is the development of compact, low cost, power efficient, tunable lasers and frequency combs working at frequency ranges not easily achieved with current technology. A successful development of this technology will pave the road to great scientific advancements as well as a new generation of compact on-chip solid-state laser sources that will open new horizons in optical sensing, spectroscopy, metrology and telecommunications.
may 21, 2015
PhD Defense Dan Chen
Dan Chen succesfully defended his PhD thesis "Shedding light on fractals: Exploration of the Sierpinski carpet optical antenna".
On this occasion, we printed a gift for him at the DesignLab. Univ. Twente:
EU-COST grant to Qing Pan
Qing Pan is awarded a short-term scientific mission grant from the EU-COST network 'Perspect-H2O' to develop a new hydrogen evolving molecular photocatalyst in the group of Dr. Mary Pryce at Dublin City University in Ireland.
OSA Nanophotonics Webinar Sonia Garcia Blanco
Sonia M. Garcia-Blanco delivers an OSA Nanophotonics Webinar entitled Rare-earth doped amplifiers integration onto nanophotonics platforms
nov 3/4, 2014
Mesa+ / OS organising the IEEE Photonics Benelux symposium
Sonia García Blanco and many other Optical Sciences members are involved in organising the 19th Annual Symposium of the IEEE Photonics Benelux Chapter on monday the 3rd and tuesday 4th of november.
Press release on melanin research Annemarie Huijser
Lund University in Sweden announced a press release on the melanin research line developed by Annemarie Huijser and Villy Sundström.
Poster prize MESA+ day to Qing Pan
Qing Pan has won a poster award at the annual MESA+ day.
juli 31, 2014
JACS article Annemarie Huijser
Annemarie Huijser’s article Superior Photoprotective Motifs and Mechanisms in Eumelanins Uncovered is published in Journal of the American Chemical Society. The work describes how eumelanin, one of the two pigments in the human skin, protects us against UV radiation by ultrafast proton transfer reactions. So far, there has been a lack of knowledge on which chemical reactions UV light causes in the pigment leading to protection against or development of skin cancer.
JoVE article / video starring Andrew Fussel
|Andrew Fussel's paper Coherent anti-Stokes Raman Scattering (CARS) Microscopy Visualizes Pharmaceutical Tablets During Dissolution" is published in the Journal of Visualized Experiments (JoVE), a peer reviewed scientific video journal. Articles in this journal feature a video demonstrating/explaining the experiment.|
Mustafa Akin Sefunc awarded SPIE scholarship
|Mustafa Akin Sefunc has been awarded a 2014 Optics and Photonics Education Scholarship by SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics for his potential contributions to the field of optics, photonics or related field.|
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.
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.
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.|
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
july 26 2012
OS Bachelors BOOM!
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.
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
|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".
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.
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.
Our research is being supported in part by the following organizations, to whom we are grateful: