Our mission

The Advanced Research Center for Nanolithography (ARCNL) focuses on fundamental physics and chemistry in the context of technologies for (nano)lithography, primarily for the semiconductor industry.

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. As a research institute ARCNL plays its role in the academic community. Thus, ARCNL publications are peer-reviewed and group leaders teach classes at universities and contribute to conferences. At the same time, the research questions are primarily driven by the application of industrial partner ASML, who also benefits from the resulting stream of technological ideas. By being in this unique position, ARCNL is able to contribute to future technological developments.


ARCNL started in 2014. A year earlier ASML had issued a tender for proposals. The company wished to establish a new research institute to feed the company with fundamental knowledge. A group of Amsterdam-based research organizations came up with the winning bid. ARCNL started as department of AMOLF and in 2015 the institute continued as an independent research institute.


The Management Team (MT) of ARCNL consists of five people: Dr. Wim van der Zande (director a.i.), Dr. Marjan Fretz (institute manager), and the department heads Dr. Oscar Versolato (Source Department), Dr. Stefan Witte (Metrology Department) and Dr. Roland Bliem (Materials Department). The MT meets every week. The center has a Governing Board, an Institute Advisory Committee and a Scientific Advisory Committee whose members are internationally renowned scientists.

Raising a new generation

ARCNL now employs about 60 ambitious young researchers from all over the globe. They are trained to do fundamental research at the highest level while at the same time working closely together with industry. ARCNL is therefore breeding a new generation of entrepreneurial researchers. They know how to follow their curiosity, while being guided by the challenges of industry.

Read here for the Strategic plan 2017-2022
The strategic plan was composed for the SEP-evaluation in 2017 and shows the future plans for ARCNL