DIFFER (Dutch Institute for Fundamental Energy Research)

The Dutch Institute for Fundamental Energy Research (DIFFER) collaborates on solutions to the worldwide energy problem: how are we to generate and store sustainable energy on a large scale?

At DIFFER, scientists and technicians work together on energy research into:

  • Generating sustainable energy through nuclear fusion
  • Storing sustainable energy in the form of solar fuels

Nuclear fusion

DIFFER is part of the international collaboration between scientists and industry working on nuclear fusion: a clean, safe and sustainable energy source. The aim is to use the driving force of the sun (the fusing of light atomic nuclei) as an energy source on earth.

DIFFER focuses on two crucial elements within fusion research:

  • Developing theoretical models, measuring instruments and advanced control systems to manage turbulence in the fusion plasma in the ITER test reactor
  • Studying the interaction between plasma and wall materials in the plasma experiment Magnum-PSI

Solar fuels

Clean and efficient storage of sustainable energy in chemical form is possible with solar fuels. Sustainable energy sources supply variable amounts of energy that is not always in keeping with demand. Storing sustainable energy in chemical compounds provides an energy buffer that is easily accommodated within the existing energy infrastructure.


The Institute was founded in 1959 under the name FOM Institute for Plasma Physics Rijnhuizen. In 2012, its mission broadened into fundamental energy research under the motto Science for Future Energy. In 2015, DIFFER will move to the Science Park of Eindhoven University of Technology, where a new laboratory is being built. DIFFER aims to play a national facilitating role in fundamental energy research.

DIFFER is an Institute of the Netherlands Foundation of Scientific Research Institutes (NWO-I) and is a part of the the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research.



Visiting address

De Zaale 20
5612 AJ Eindhoven
The Netherlands

Postal address

PO Box 6336
5600 HH Eindhoven
The Netherlands

T: +31 040 3334999