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Nanoscience

Get involved in Research at the Zernike Insitute - Ranked in THES World's top 20

The Top Master's degree programme in Nanoscience is closely linked to the Zernike Institute for Advanced Materials, a leading international research centre, ranked amongst the top 20 of the world.

Zernike Institute for Advanced Materials

The Institute's mission is the design and scientific study of materials for functionality. It aims to maintain its position as an internationally recognised, leading, materials research and training institute. As an institute, it conducts research that is addressing fundamental questions in the fields of functional materials. In this way, it wants to optimise the synergy and knowledge transfer between the sub-disciplines of physics, chemistry and (with less weight) biology. Also, the Institute educates a new generation of researchers in a cross-disciplinary approach to better prepare the graduates for the diversity and quality of skills needed in society.

Research at the Zernike Institute for Advanced Materials

Basic research on materials is directed towards unravelling the relations between the properties that determine their functionality and their chemical composition and structure. The quest for in-depth understanding of these constitutive relations often leads to unexpected boundaries signifying fundamental gaps in our knowledge. Although the structure-property relationship is in itself a truism, the actual linkage between (micro) structural aspects in a material and its physical/chemical properties is elusive. The reason is that various properties are determined by the collective behaviour of molecules, atoms and electrons and their behaviour may be extremely non-linear on different time and length scales.

The classic materials triangle concerns an integrative approach in the three aspects of structure, property and chemical composition. The Zernike Institute for Advanced Materials adds an extra dimension to this traditional view by an unconventional linkage to the field of biomolecular sciences, which includes the design aspects as well.

  • Testimonial van Alina Veligura, Ukraine

    The lecturers treat you as colleagues rather than as students

    I decided to study Nanoscience because I believe nanoscience is a very challenging and 'hot' topic; it really is the future of physics. I was attracted by the integration of chemistry and physics in the programme. The design of the modules seemed very promising. Also, I had some friends in Holland already.

    The programme is very broad. It really gives you an overview of the relevant parts of chemistry and physics. On the other hand, I sometimes wish we had more time to go into even more depth. I guess that will have to wait until my PhD programme. Another strong point is that it really feels like a family. The lecturers treat you as colleagues rather than as students, and we students form a close-knit community. What also makes the programme attractive is that it is nice to have so many foreign lecturers in the programme, as role models. If I could do it all over again, I would definitely select nanoscience and come to Groningen again.

    Sluiten
    – Alina Veligura, Ukraine
  • Testimonial van Machteld Kamminga

    My research proposal got funded and led to a PhD position

    With a bachelor's degree in Applied Physics, I joined the Nanoscience Top Master programme in 2012. I found the interdisciplinary nature of this programme the most appealing, as I was interested in gathering expertise on areas in chemistry, physics and biology.

    During the Top Master, I have attended several advanced chemistry courses, did my thesis project on single-molecule studies of DNA-based processes and did my Small Research Project on the synthesis and characterization of organic-inorganic hybrid materials. As part of the curriculum, I wrote a research proposal based on my experience during the Small Research Project, which got funded and led to my current PhD position.

    I believe that the programme and the direct link to ongoing research in the Zernike Institute for Advanced Materials prepared me very well for my PhD. The Top Master programme allowed me to evolve from a student with a physics background into a researcher in the field of materials chemistry. Being able to work at the border between physics and chemistry, I find myself in a position where I feel that I can make significant contributions to science. Being able to make and characterize materials, gives me the tools I need to develop my career. In addition, I think that the strength of the Nanoscience programme goes beyond the cross-disciplinary nature of the curriculum. Having a small cohort of students (maximum of 15), significantly adds to the learning process. Working with people who do not only have different scientific backgrounds (physics, chemistry or materials science), but also different cultural backgrounds, was the highlight of my Master's programme and has taught me a lot.

    As part of the curriculum, I wrote a research proposal based on my experience during the Small Research Project, which got funded and led to my current PhD position. I believe that the programme and the direct link to ongoing research in the Zernike Institute for Advanced Materials prepared me very well for my PhD. The Top Master programme allowed me to evolve from a student with a physics background into a researcher in the field of materials chemistry. Being able to work at the border between physics and chemistry, I find myself in a position where I feel that I can make significant contributions to science. Being able to make and characterize materials, gives me the tools I need to develop my career. In addition, I think that the strength of the Nanoscience programme goes beyond the cross-disciplinary nature of the curriculum. Having a small cohort of students (maximum of 15), significantly adds to the learning process. Working with people who do not only have different scientific backgrounds (physics, chemistry or materials science), but also different cultural backgrounds, was the highlight of my Master's programme and has taught me a lot.

    Sluiten
    – Machteld Kamminga
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