Using the tools of physics and design principles, AMOLF researchers study complex matter, such as light at the nanoscale, living matter, designer matter and nanoscale solar cells. These insights open up opportunities to create new functional materials and to find solutions to societal challenges.
Tuning chemical reactions with light
AMOLF researchers unravel how nano-antennas enhance chemical reactions
The chemical industry consumes a lot of energy, not only to initiate reactions but also to separate products from by-products. In a promising emerging field of research, scientists worldwide are trying to use nanoscale antennas to capture and concentrate light into tiny volumes in order to initiate chemical reactions more efficiently and sustainably.
Researchers at AMOLF unraveled how such nanoscale antennas enhance the rate of chemical reactions. They also discovered that using different colors of light can cause completely different chemical reactions to take place.
A new spin on making minimal cells
The ability of a cell to separate its own matter from its surroundings is a basic requirement for life. A team of researchers at AMOLF and Delft University of Technology have managed to create a synthetic container, or lipid vesicle, that is able to hold a range of different biological systems: from a cytoskeleton to entire E.coli bacteria. Their findings on this optimized cDICE method, which has the potential to reveal the inner workings of life, are published in ACS Synthetic Biology.