ARCNL performs fundamental research, focusing on the physics and chemistry involved in current and future key technologies in nanolithography, primarily for the semiconductor industry. While the academic setting and research style are geared towards establishing scientific excellence, the topics in ARCNL’s research program are intimately connected with the interests of the industrial partner ASML.

ARCNL is a public-private partnership established in 2014 by the Dutch Research Council (NWO), the University of Amsterdam (UvA), the Vrije Universiteit (VU) and semiconductor equipment manufacturer ASML. In 2022 the University of Groningen (RUG) joined as associate partner. The institute is located at Amsterdam Science Park.

ARCNL combines the best of two worlds. Being a research institute, ARCNL operates in the middle of the academic field. ARCNL shares its scientific output in peer-reviewed journals and at conferences. At the same time, the research questions are inspired by challenges from the semiconductor industry. Driven by Moore’s law, lithography technology developed and produced by ASML touches frequently on fundamental limits. Consequently, ARCNL researchers often find themselves working with extreme scientific challenges. ARCNL not only contributes to future technological developments but is also in the position to shorten the time between invention and possible application.


The institute management of ARCNL consists of its director, Dr. Wim van der Zande and institute manager, Dr. Marjan Fretz. The ARCNL Management Team (MT) consists of representatives of the three research departments: Dr. Oscar Versolato (Source department), Dr. Stefan Witte (Metrology department), and Dr. Roland Bliem (Materials). ARCNL is controlled by the Governing Board with representatives of the partners. ARCNL receives advice from two advisory committees: a Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC) and an Institute Advisory Committee. The SAC visits ARCNL yearly as part of the annual strategy cycle involving all stakeholders.

Raising a new generation

ARCNL currently employs about 100 persons of which 65 are ambitious (young) researchers from all over the globe. These young researchers are trained to do fundamental research at the highest level while working closely together with industry. ARCNL is breeding a generation of entrepreneurial researchers.


ARCNL started in 2014. A year earlier ASML had issued a tender for proposals for an independent research center. The company wished to establish a research institute to feed the company with fundamental knowledge related to long term challenges connected with Moore’s law. A group of Amsterdam-based research organizations came up with the winning bid. ARCNL began as department of institute AMOLF. In 2015, the institute continued as an independent research institute and in 2019 ARCNL moved to its long-term housing, the Matrix VII building, also located at the Amsterdam Science Park.