Current Grants

  • Dutch NWO: Introducing spin-orbit coupling and superconductivity into 2D electronic model systems with Dirac carriers (2019-2023)
  • Dutch NWO: Superficial superstructures: control of colloidal ordering at interfaces (2016-2022)
  • ERC Advanced Grant FIRST STEP, nr. 692691 (2016-2022)
  • ERC Advanced Grant, Horizon 2020, “Synthesis of 2-D semiconductors with honeycomb nanogeometry and study of their Dirac-type band structure and opto-electronic properties (FIRSTSTEP)” (2017-2022)

Previous Grants

  • NWO-ECHO “Nanoperiodic semiconductors from colloids that react as atoms” 2013-2018
  • FOM Program “Designing Dirac carriers in honeycomb semiconductor superlattices” 2013-2018
  • NWO-TOPPUNT “Superfacial superstructures” 2016–2021
  • STW-IWT “Quantum-dot based luminescent solar concentrators” 2016-2021
  • ITN-Marie Curie, Horizon 2020, “Nanophotonics by nanocrystals, from integration to single photon operation (Phonsi)” 2014-2019



416 peer-reviewed papers, with 24745 citations overall; papers in high impact journals including Science, Angewandte Chemie, JACS, NanoLetters, Nano Today, Advanced Materials, Physical Review Letters, Nature Communications, and Nature. The H-index of Vanmaekelbergh is currently 84 (Google Scholar, December 2021).

A full publication list can be found on the CMI publication list page and on Google Scholar.


Team and Thesis

PhD thesis students

Jara Vliem, Synthesis and characterization of topological quantum materials,
Jara Vliem

Just Promoted

  • Maaike van der Sluijs (June 2024)
  • Jesper Moes (May 2024)
  • Tim Prins (December 2023)
  • Annelies van der Bok (July 2023)
  • Thomas Gardenier (April 2022)
  • Bas Salzmann (March 2022)
  • Jette van den Broeke (November 2021)
  • Saoirsé Freeney (August 2021)
  • Christiaan Post (May 2021)
  • Annalisa Brodu (September 2019)
  • Marlou Slot (July 2019), now working as a postdoc at NIST, Gaithersburg.
  • Joep Peters (March 2019)
  • Maryam Alimoradi Jazi (March 2019), now working as a postdoc in the group of Arjan Houtepen, TU Delft.
  • Federico Montanarella (January 2019)
  • Carlo van Overbeek (March 2018)
  • Jaco Geuchies (October 2017), now working as a postdoc in the group of Arjan Houtepen, TU Delft.
  • Nadine van der Heijden (September 2017)
  • Joost van der Lit (March 2016), now working in ASML, Eindhoven
  • Freddy Rabouw (September 2015), now working as an assistant professor at the Utrecht University
  • Dominika Grodzińska (2014), now working at ASML, Eindhoven
  • Francesca Pietra (2014), now working as a science consultant in Imperial College London

Research Team, staff

(Co) promotor of PhD theses


Curriculum Vitae

Born in Brugge (Belgium, 18 - 8 - 1958 ).
Daniël Albert Marie Vanmaekelbergh

University studies

  • "Kandidaat" in science (chemistry), Rijksuniversiteit Gent, Belgium,
    July 1978, cum laude.
  • "Licentiaat" in science (chemistry), Rijksuniversiteit Gent,
    July 1980, cum laude.
    Thesis: "Kinetic study of competitive photoelectrochemical reactions at III-V semiconductor electrodes".
    Supervisor: prof. W. Gomes, Dept. of Physical Chemistry.
  • Ph.D. in science (chemistry), Rijksuniversiteit Gent,
    January 1984, cum laude.
    Thesis: " Investigations on the mechanism of photoelectrochemical reactions at n-type III-V semiconductor electrodes".
    Promotor: prof. W. Gomes, Dept. of Physical Chemistry.


  • "Aspirant" of the "Nationaal Fonds voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek",
    from 1-10-1980 to 3-4-1985 ( interrupted for military service from 4-6-1984 to 3-4-1985 ).
  • Scientific researcher of the "Nationaal Fonds voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek",
    from 4-4-1985 to 1-4-1987.
  • Postdoctorate in the Department of Condensed Matter of the Utrecht University (The Netherlands),
    from 1-4-1987 to 1-4-1989.
  • Assistant Professor in the Department of Condensed Matter of the Utrecht University,
    from 1-4-1989 to 1-4-1991.
  • Associate Professor in the Department of Chemistry, Group Condensed Matter and Interfaces, Utrecht University,
    from 1-4-1991 to 1-12-2002.
  • Professor, Chair Chemistry and Physics of Nanostructures, Dept. of Chemistry, Science Faculty,
    from 1-12-2002 to present.


Research: Chemistry and Physics of Nanostructures

Chemical synthesis

  • Colloidal nanocrystals, II-VI, IV-VI compounds, e.g. PbSe, CdSe, ZnO, …
  • Colloidal 2-D nanoplatelets of CdTe and CdSe
  • Self-assembled nanocrystal superlattices
  • In-situ monitoring of self-assembly processes with X-ray scattering methods in the synchrotron of Grenoble
  • 2-D semiconductors with honeycomb nano-geometry and Dirac-type valence – and conduction bands
  • Molecular structures on atomically flat surfaces
  • Artificial 2-D electronic superlattices based on CO-molecules organised on flat metallic substrates, such as Cu(111)

Advanced synthesis facilities

HAADF-STEM image of a PbSe nanocrystal (Nanoletters 2013)
HAADF-STEM image of a PbSe honeycomb structure (Science 2014)
Phase transitions of an interfacial monolayer of PbSe nanocrystals, finally resulting in a square superlattice (Nature Materials 2016)

Atomic force microscopy, scanning tunnelling microscopy and spectroscopy

  • Atomic structure of graphene nanoribbons studied with AFM
  • Molecular self-assembly on a Au (111) substrate
  • Moulding the surface state of Cu (111) with CO-manipulation
  • Tunnelling microscopy and spectroscopy of individual quantum dots
  • Tunnelling microscopy and spectroscopy of semiconductor superlattices
Energy levels and electron-phonon coupling in CdSe QDs by STS (Phys. Rev. Lett 2009, Chem. Rev. 2016)
Graphene nanoribbon on Au(111), left AFM picture of the atomic structure, right STM picture of a given orbital (Nature Communications 2013)

Optical spectroscopy on ensembles and the single molecule level

  • Exiton polaritons in single ZnO nanowires
  • Radiative versus Auger recombination in single CdSe quantum dots
  • Delayed exciton emission in CdSe/(Cd, Zn, S) quantum dots and CdSe/CdS platelets
  • Exciton fine structure of InP quantum dots
ZnO nanowires, lasing with interference from the two ends of a single ZnO nanowire (similar to the Young two-slit experiment) Nano Letters 2008
Light emission and whispering gallery mode from a CdSe supra particle on a bed of ZnO nanowires, ACS Nano 2015


Additional functions

2021 - Editorial board of Physics Reports (Elsevier)
2021 - Editorial Advisory Board Solar RRL
2018 – 2021 Director of the Debye Institute for Nanomaterials Science, Utrecht University / NL
2018 – 2021 Vice Head of Dept. of Chemistry, Utrecht University / NL
2018 – 2021 As vice-head and Director: creation and hiring of three new staff positions in the Dept. of Chemistry, coordination between depts. of Physics and Chemistry
2007 – 2015 Co-editor and advisory board of Europhysics Letters
2010 – 2014 Member of the Nanoscience Committee of the Dutch NWO-Physics
2005 – 2020 Board member and Director of the European Society for Quantum Solar Energy Conversion


Fellowships and awards

2020 Guest Professor at ETH, Optical Materials Engineering Lab., Switzerland (postponed to 2022)
2018 Honorary Member of the Israel Chemical Society
2017 Descartes – Huygens prize, Ministry of Europe, Ministry of Education and Science, France
2015 Guest Professor at Ecole Supérieur de Chimie et Physique Industrielle, Paris, Fr
2013 Guest Professor at Aalto University, Dept. of Physics, Finland
2000 Guest Researcher at National Renewable Energy Lab, Golden, CO, US
1980 – 1987 Fellow of the Belgian National Science Foundation (NFWO)





prof. dr. Daniël Vanmaekelbergh

Chair in Chemistry and Physics of Nanostructures, Condensed Matter and Interfaces.
Department of Chemistry and Debye Institute for Nanomaterials Science, Utrecht University.
The Debye Institute for Nanomaterials Science is a research institute focusing on Colloids, Nanophotonics, and Catalysis.

Condensed Matter and Interfaces
P.O.Box 80.000
The Netherlands.

Visiting address: Leonard S. Ornstein Laboratory, Princetonplein 1, Utrecht

Tel.: +31 30-2532218