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National Roadmap Grant for HFML-FELIX

Date of news: 30 April 2020

HFML-FELIX has been awarded 15.1 million euros for the development of advanced instrumentation and new experimental techniques. The grant is part of The National Roadmap for Large-Scale Research Facilities of the Dutch Research Council (NWO) which enables the building or renovation of research facilities with international allure.

HFML-FELIX represents a world-unique research infrastructure on Dutch soil, leading in science and technology with magnets and free-electron lasers. It serves as an open-access, international user facility, which hosts more than 500 guest researchers per year. The grant is dedicated to the development and exploitation of the facility (jointly operated by the Radboud University and NWO), as well as to develop experimental infrastructure and new instrumentation. The work will be executed in close collaboration with several partners from Dutch universities, institutes, companies and hospitals.

Peter Christianen (director HFML): “We are delighted to have received this grant, which allows us to further develop pioneering technology and instrumentation. The innovative equipment will enable breakthroughs in a wide range of scientific domains and will contribute to solving societal challenges in the areas of Health, Energy and Smart Materials. To give two examples: we will build instrumentation to image biomarkers in tissue to diagnose diseases and we will develop new experimental techniques aiming to reduce the energy required for magnetic data storage.”

Dutch synergy

Britta Redlich (director FELIX): “These plans have been defined by identifying the most pressing requests from existing and prospective users to extend our experimental possibilities. In all projects we work closely together with universities, institutes, companies and medical centres across the country taking advantage of their expertise and experience in the corresponding areas. Ultimately these developments will be opened to the research community worldwide.”


Innovation in four areas

The innovations cover four areas of instrumentation:

  1. Advanced Imaging
    Adding microscopic imaging capabilities to HFML-FELIX’s state-of-the-art techniques, such as mass spectrometry with infrared spectroscopy and magnetic levitation.

    Partners: Institute for Molecules and Materials – Radboud University, University of Maastricht
  1. Ultrafast Dynamics
    Creating a platform for THz dynamics experiments using the ultrahigh intensities of the free electron lasers and the high field magnets.

    Partners: Institute for Molecules and Materials – Radboud University, University of Delft
  1. Unique sample environments
    Creating new experimental capabilities that combine multiple types of extreme conditions, such as high magnetic fields, intense radiation, ultralow temperatures and ultrahigh vacuum, in one single experiment.

    Partners: Institute for Molecules and Materials – Radboud University,  Leiden Cryogenics B.V.,  University of Amsterdam, DIFFER,  University of Groningen, Leiden University, University of Twente
  1. Optimized operation of the magnet and laser installation
    To improve the overall user experience in terms of quality, flexibility and duration of operation.

HFML-FELIX photo Joeri Borst

NWO National Roadmap for Large-Scale Research Facilities

Funds for the National Roadmap Large-Scale Research Facilities make it possible to build or modernize top research facilities with an international allure. These facilities have the highest priority for science and offer Dutch researchers access to first-class national and sometimes international scientific infrastructure. This time NWO’s Executive Board has awarded funding to seven proposals for a total amount of 93 million euros. Read more on the site of the Dutch Research Council (NWO).

More information

Peter Christianen
Britta Redlich