Joost Frenken appointed director of ARCN Amsterdam


The Advanced Research Centre for NanoLithography (ARCNL) starts on 1 January 2014. ARCNL is a new, public-private funded research centre founded on the initiative of ASML. Partnering institutions are FOM, NWO, and the two universities in Amsterdam: University of Amsterdam and VU. Prof. dr. Joost Frenken has been appointed as the first director of the ARCNL.

The new research centre will conduct fundamental research relating to nanolithography, the most important technology for manufacturing computer chips and processors in PCs, smartphones, and tablets. Initially, the centre will focus on the physical and chemical processes which are crucial for Extreme Ultraviolet (EUV) lithography. ARCNL will strengthen the knowledge base of nanolithography and thus make an important contribution to this technology, indispensable for innovation in the global semiconductor industry in the coming years.

The ARCNL will start work in January under the auspices of the FOM Institute AMOLF. Over the next two years, it will become an independent research centre at the Amsterdam Science Park, staffed by around one hundred scientists and technologists. The partners of ARCNL jointly guarantee an investment of around 95 million euros in the coming decade. The city of Amsterdam will supplement this to 100 million euros. Private and public parties will each contribute 50 percent to the basic funding.

ARCNL falls under the Foundation for Fundamental Research on Matter (FOM). An 'Advanced Research Centre' is a new type of consortium, with which NWO promotes partnership with universities and private parties. This initiative complements the government’s top sector policy, with the Top Sector High Tech Systems and Materials (HTSM). 

From 1 January 2014, ARCNL director Joost Frenken will be setting out the scientific course, his first priority being the recruitment of top scientists. Frenken is a professor at Leiden University, where he heads a research group in the field of the physics of surfaces and interfaces. He is a member of the KNAW and was recently awarded the prestigious ERC Advanced Grant. Frenken won the 2012 FOM Valorisation Prize for his ability to combine fundamental research, technological development, and starting up new companies.

"Frenken is an eminent surface and interface physicist,” says Vinod Subramaniam (AMOLF director). "His work has been recognised by a number of awards and honours. He also has a keen appreciation for, and experience with, translating fundamental science to relevant applications, and has worked together with industry in many projects. We are delighted to have a scientist of Frenken’s stature on board as the founding director of the ARCNL, and wish him every success in this unique new adventure."

(Press release FOM 08/11/2013)