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Materials Characterisation

Even before the foundation of the University of Antwerp in 2003 (arising from the merger of RUCA, UFSIA and UIA), extensive expertise in materials characterization had already been gathered in the departments of chemistry and physics, resulting in internationally acclaimed research excellence in a specific number of strategic domains, i.e. theory/modelling/simulation, characterization/measurement and image processing and analysis.

These domains are continuously strengthened, a.o. through heavy investments in equipment, some of which is unique in Flanders. In addition, the close collaboration between the characterization and modelling domains resulted in Methusalem financing and an ERC Advanced Grant and the collaborative efforts of the modelling groups led to the purchase of a computer cluster (CalcUA) which takes part in the Flemish super computer consortium. The modelling groups have meanwhile also broadened their experience from simulation of properties of known systems to the proactive search for new systems with specific properties which is a more appropriate strategy for long-term valorisation.

The expertise, especially in nanophysics, is also reflected in education, more specifically in the advanced master in Nanophysics, a one-year programme with focus on present-day theoretical and computational techniques, experimental techniques for the characterisation of nanostructures and practical computational and experimental experience. Applications bridge both the physics and biomedical areas.

The research groups at the university also actively participate in the Strategic Initiative Materials ‘SIM’, a new strategic research centre that was founded in 2009 with support of the Flemish Government.