AMOLF performs leading research on the fundamental physics and design principles of natural and man-made complex matter. The research of AMOLF provides fundamental insights on topics such as the nanoscale interaction of light and matter, the programmable properties of mechanical metamaterials, and the molecular mechanisms underlying cellular function. AMOLF leverages these insights to create novel functional materials, and to find solutions to societal challenges in renewable energy, green ICT, and health care.

AMOLF employs about 130 researchers and 70 employees for technical and administrative support. The institute is located at Amsterdam Science Park. AMOLF is part of NWO-I, the institutes organization of NWO.

AMOLF video



AMOLF was founded in 1949 and was known as the Laboratorium voor Massascheiding en Analyse. One of the areas of research was uranium enrichment under leadership of AMOLF’s first director Jacob Kistemaker. In 1953 the institute managed to produce 10 mg. of enriched uranium, which had not been done before in Europe. As a result isotopes became commercially available for medical and technological purposes. In the following years the institute worked on the development of the ultracentrifuge, which is currently exploited by the Dutch company Urenco.

When isotopes became available on the market, AMOLF changed course and continued as FOM-Instituut voor Atoom- en Molecuulfysica. Also, the nature of the research activities changed from a few major projects with substantial infrastructure to multiple small scale research projects. After the transition of the Foundation for Fundamental Research on Matter (FOM) to NWO in January 2017, the institute continued as AMOLF (without FOM reference).




Science Park 104
1098 XG Amsterdam
The Netherlands

T: +31 20 7547100


Quality NWO institutes

The NWO institutes guarantee top quality in scientific research.