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.

Current 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
  • 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

Research Team, staff

PhD thesis students

  • Nadine van der Heijden, Atomic Force Microscopy on molecules (Veni, Ingmar Swart),
  • Peter Jacobse, electronic properties of graphene nanostructures doped with N (graduate program Ingmar Swart and Bert Klein Gebbink),
  • Joep Peters, surface chemistry and shape of nanocrystals (FOM program),
  • Jaco Geuchies, X-ray scattering studies of self-assembly processes,
  • Carlo Overbeek, nanocrystal synthesis, ion-exchange and interfacial self-assembly (NWO-CW Echo),
  • Marlou Slot, STM/STS on Dirac-type honeycomb semiconductors and artificial lattices on prepared on Cu(111) (FOM program, NWO),
  • Federico Montanarella, opto-electronic properties of supraparticles (ETN Marie Curie Actions, Horizon 2010),
  • Annalisa Brodu, optical properties and exciton fine structure of InP core-shell quantum dots (ETN Marie Curie Actions, Horizon 2010),
  • Maryam Ali Moradi Jazi, electrolyte-gated semiconductor superstructures (ETN Marie Curie Actions, Horizon 2010),
  • Christian Post, 2-D Dirac-type electron gases with a honeycomb geometry (NWO-Toppunt),
  • Tim Prins, fluorescent light concentrators based on semiconductor quantum dots and rods (STW),

Just Promoted

  • Francesca Pietra (2014), now working as a science consultant in Imperial College London
  • Dominika Grodzińska (2014), now working at ASML, Eindhoven
  • Freddy Rabouw (September 2015), now working as a post-doc in ETH, Zurich
  • Joost van der Lit (March 2016), now working in ASML, Eindhoven

(Co) promotor of PhD theses


225 peer-reviewed papers, with 15000 citations overall; in the last decade 60 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 65 (Google Scholar, July 2016).

Typical Recent Publications

  • In situ study of the formation mechanism of two-dimensional superlattices from PbSe nanocrystals. Nature Materials, September 2016
  • Scanning probe microscopy and spectroscopy of colloidal semiconductor nanocrystals and assembled structures. Chemical Reviews (2016)
  • Materials science: Superlattice substitution. Nature 524, 418-419 (2015)
  • Shape-Dependent Multiexciton Emission and Whispering Gallery Modes in Supraparticles of CdSe/Multishell Quantum Dots. ACS Nano 9, 3942-3950 (2015)
  • Long-range orientation and atomic attachment of nanocrystals in 2D honeycomb superlattices. Science 344, 1377-1380 (2014)
  • Dirac Cones, Topological Edge States, and Nontrivial Flat Bands in Two-Dimensional Semiconductors with a Honeycomb Nanogeometry. Physical Review X, 4, 011010 (2014)
  • Conformal and Atomic Characterization of Ultrathin CdSe Platelets with a Helical Shape. NanoLetters 14, 6257-62 (2014).

Publication list

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


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





prof. dr. Daniël Vanmaekelbergh

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

Visiting address: Ornstein Laboratory, Princetonplein 1, Utrecht

Tel.: +31 30-2532218