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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.


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. 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.


To make that possible, we are working 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.

Fresh start at new home base in 2015

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