Science for
future energy

Science for future energy

At DIFFER, we are working on a future in which clean energy will be available to everybody, anywhere in the world.

Our climate is changing due to emissions from fossil fuels. At the same time the world population – and consequently the worldwide energy demand – continue to grow. The demand for sustainable, relevant energy solutions is considerable. Energy that we can use in familiar ways in our homes, for transport and in industry.

Energy research

Research institute DIFFER is helping to make this possible through its fundamental scientific research into new and improved energy supplies for the future. Our research focuses on two major energy themes: Fusion Energy and Solar Fuels. We are investigating how we can realise the enormous potential of generating clean power from fusion energy, the same way of releasing energy as takes place in the sun. We are also working on a way of converting sustainable energy cleanly and efficiently into fuels for storage and transport: solar fuels. DIFFER is part of the institutes organisation of NWO.

User facilities

DIFFER invites energy researchers - both from industry and academia - to come to measure at our institute. Linear plasma generator Magnum-PSI is open to external users, as well as our Ion Beam Facility.


We work together with industry and knowledge partners with various backgrounds: physicists, chemists, engineers and other specialists. In this way, we are helping to develop the technology needed to generate and store sustainable energy as efficiently and cheaply as possible with the right materials. So that together, we will be able to accelerate the transition to a sustainable society.


The institute was started in 2012 as the focal energy research activity of the Dutch Research Council NWO of its physics branch FOM (now NWO-I). From 2017 onward the FOM organisation was incorporated in a new organisation together with other NWO divisions. DIFFER expanded the previous 'FOM Institute for Plasma Physics Rijnhuizen' (started in 1959) into a multidisciplinary national home for basic energy research. The institute moved to EIndhoven in 2015, for optimal interaction with the broader academic world and to expand the facilities. DIFFER has a highly sustainable building on the campus of Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e), with a BREEAM-NL Excellent building qualification.

NWO family

Together with AMOLF, ARCNL, ASTRON, CWI, Nikhef, NIOZ, NSCR and SRON, DIFFER is part of the Institute Organisation of NWO, NWO-I.


We would like to keep in touch. The DIFFER newsletter EXPLORE updates you on research, events and other news. We would also like to invite you to our Linkedin-page. On Twitter, we are @DIFFERenergy. Welcome to our network!

Organization chart of DIFFER (PDF)