AMOLF’s mission is to initiate and perform leading fundamental research on the physics of complex forms of matter, and to create new functional materials, in partnership with academia and industry.

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The AMOLF way

  1. Focus on excellent science
  2. Obtain outstanding technical infrastructure
  3. Initiate and develop new scientific topics
  4. Keep the organization and the research groups relatively small
  5. Collaborate with colleagues, universities and academia
  6. Facilitate social cohesion
Find out more about ‘The AMOLF way’

Facts & Figures

AMOLF is part of the institutes organisation of NWO

In 2017

  • 102 scientific publications (41 % in High Impact Factor journals)
  • 7 PhD theses
  • 161 employees (fte):
    25 post-doctoral researchers, 56 PhD students, guests and masterstudents
    12 tenured group leaders
    5 tenure track group leaders
    63 support staff
  • M€ 17 yearly turnover:
    M€ 9 base funding from NWO/FOM
    M€ 8 project funding from competitive calls



AMOLF researchers operate in a global network of collaborative partners. AMOLF maintains close connections with Dutch universities and other research institutes. Senior researchers from AMOLF are also a professor at a Dutch university, AMOLF PhD students obtain their doctorates from a Dutch university and university students do internships at AMOLF. Most research projects are realized in collaboration with university colleagues.

Meet our university colleagues


In 1946 the Dutch government established the Foundation for Fundamental Research on Matter (FOM) ‘to initiate fundamental scientific research in the Netherlands on matter in the general sense, and to support higher education’. In order to achieve this goal, the FOM Laboratory for Mass Spectrography was founded. The institute’s name was changed to Laboratory for Mass Separation in 1960, and then to FOM Institute for Atomic and Molecular Physics (AMOLF) in 1966. The name changes reflect the significant changes in the institute’s research program over the years.

As of January 1, 2017, FOM forms a new organization together with other parts of NWO. The name ‘FOM’, therefore, disappears after more than 70 years. As a result of this, the FOM Institute AMOLF changes its name to AMOLF.

Read more about AMOLF’s history

Picture: Jaap Kistemaker (1917-2010), founder of AMOLF and a pioneer in the field of uranium isotope separation. He led AMOLF from 1949 until his retirement in 1982.