Marjolein Dijkstra

Scientific director Debye Institute for Nanomaterials Science
Ornstein Laboratory, office 0.64
Princetonplein 5,
3584 CC Utrecht
P.O. Box 80 000, 3508 TA Utrecht
The Netherlands
phone: +31 (0)30 253 3270
secretariat: +31 (0)30 253  2952
Operations coordinator Debye Institute:
Dianne Ickenroth
phone: +31 (0)30 253 1122


In situ study of the formation mechanism of two-dimensional superlattices from PbSe nanocrystals
J.J. Geuchies, C. van Overbeek, W.H. Evers, B. Goris, A. de Backer, A.P. Gantapara, F.T. Rabouw, J. Hilhorst, J.L. Peters, O. Konovalov, A.V. Petukhov, M. Dijkstra, L.D.A. Siebbeles, S. van Aert, S. Bals, and D. Vanmaekelbergh, Nature Materials 15, 1248 (2016).


Entropy-driven formation of chiral nematic phases
by computer simulations
Simone Dussi and Marjolein Dijkstra,
Nature Communications 7, 11175 (2016).



Critical Casimir Forces and Colloidal Phase Transitions in a Near-Critical Solvent: A Simple Model Reveals a Rich Phase Diagram

John R. Edison, Nikos Tasios, Simone Belli, Robert Evans, René van Roij, and Marjolein Dijkstra
Physical Review Letters 114, 038301 (2015).





Neutral colloids in a near-critical solvent mixture.

More movies:
Strongly adsorbing colloids
Supercritical state
Gas-Liquid phase coexistence
Gas-Crystal phase coexistence

08-09-2014: Entropy-driven formation of large icosahedral colloidal clusters by spherical confinement
Bart de Nijs, Simone Dussi, Frank Smallenburg, Johannes D. Meeldijk, Dirk J. Groenendijk, Laura Filion, Arnout Imhof, Alfons van Blaaderen and Marjolein Dijkstra
Nature Materials (2014).

14-08-2014: Two-stage melting induced by dislocations and grain boundaries in monolayers of hard spheres
Weikai Qi, Anjan P. Gantapara and Marjolein Dijkstra
Soft Matter 10, 5449  (2014).

16-01-2014: Self-Assembly of Octapod-Shaped Colloidal Nanocrystals into a Hexagonal Ballerina Network Embedded in a Thin Polymer Film
Milena P. Arciniegas, Mee R. Kim, Joost De Graaf, Rosaria Brescia, Sergio Marras, Karol Miszta, Marjolein Dijkstra, René van Roij, and Liberato Manna,
Nano Letters 14, 1056 (2014).

16-01-2014: Self-Assembly of Colloidal Hexagonal Bipyramid- and Bifrustum-Shaped ZnS Nanocrystals into Two-Dimensional Superstructures
Ward van der Stam, Anjan P. Gantapara, Quinten A. Akkerman, Giuseppe Soligno, Johannes D. Meeldijk , René van Roij, Marjolein Dijkstra, and Celso de Mello Donegá
Nano Letters 14, 1032 (2014).


01-07-2013:Phase Diagram and Structural Diversity of a Family of Truncated Cubes: Degenerate Close-Packed Structures and Vacancy-Rich States
A.P. Gantapara, J. de Graaf, R. van Roij, and M. Dijkstra,
Physical Review Letters 111, 015501 (2013).

01-07-2013:Low-Dimensional Semiconductor Superlattices Formed by Geometric Control over Nanocrystal Attachment
W.H. Evers, B. Goris, S. Bals, M. Casavola, J. de Graaf, R. van Roij, M. Dijkstra, and D. Vanmaekelbergh,
Nano Letters 13, 2317 (2013).

01-01-2013:Effect of bond length fluctuations on crystal nucleation of hard bead chains
R. Ni and M. Dijkstra,
Soft Matter 9, 365 (2013).


03-12-2012:Crystal-structure prediction via the Floppy-Box Monte Carlo algorithm: Method and application to hard non)convex particles
J. de Graaf, L. Filion, M. Marechal, R. van Roij, and M. Dijkstra,
Journal of Chemical Physics 137, 214101(2012).

Densest packings of a huge variety of polyhedral shaped particles in

supplementary information
[26 Mb]

30-10-2012: Vacancy-stabilized crystalline order in hard cubes
F. Smallenburg, L. Filion, M. Marechal, and M. Dijkstra,
Proceedingsof the National Academy of Sciences 109, 17886 (2012).
See also “Colloidal crystals full of invisible vacancies by Daan Frenkel


14-09-2012: Phase diagram of colloidal hard superballs: from cubes via spheres to octahedra
Ran Ni, Anjan Prasad Gantapara, Joost de Graaf, René van Roij and Marjolein Dijkstra
Soft Matter 8, 8826 (2012)

27-06-2012: Surface roughness directed self-assembly of patchy particles into colloidal micelles
D. J. Kraft, R. Ni, F. Smallenburg, M. Hermes, K. Yoon, D. A. Weitz, A. van Blaaderen, J. Groenewold, M. Dijkstra, and Willem K. Kegel,
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 109, 10787 (2012).


21-10-2011: Hierarchical self-assembly of suspended branched colloidal nanocrystals into superlattice structures
Karol Miszta, Joost de Graaf, Giovanni Bertoni, Dirk Dorfs, Rosaria Brescia, Sergio Marras, Luca Ceseracciu, Roberto Cingolani, René van Roij, Marjolein Dijkstra, and Liberato Manna,
Nature Materials 10, 872 (2011).

See also NEWS AND VIEWS: Colloidal self-assembly: Interlocked octapods
Sara M. Rupich & Dmitri V. Talapin
Nature Materials 10, 815 (2011)

07-10-2011: Dense regular packings of irregular nonconvex particle
J. de Graaf, R. van Roij and M. Dijkstra,
Physical Review Letters 107, 155501 (2011).

21-07-2011: Stacking in sediments of colloidal hard spheres
M. Marechal, M. Hermes, and M. Dijkstra,
J. Chem. Phys 135, 034510 (2011).



21-05-2011: Nucleation of colloidal crystals on configurable seed structures
M. Hermes, E. C. M. Vermolen, M. E. Leunissen, D. L. J. Vossen, P. D. J. van Oostrum, M. Dijkstra, and A. van Blaaderen,
Soft Matter 7, 4517 (2011).


13-04-2010: Phase Behavior and Structure of a New Colloidal Model System of Bowl-Shaped Particles
M. Marechal, R. J. Kortschot, A. F. Demirörs, A. Imhof, and M. Dijkstra,
Nano Letters 10, 1907 (2010).

29-10-2009: Efficient Method for Predicting Crystal Structures at Finite Temperature: Variable Box Shape Simulations
L. Filion, M. Marechal, B. van Oorschot, D. Pelt, F. Smallenburg, and M. Dijkstra,
Physical Review Letters 103, 188302 (2009).

see also: Highlight in Physics

24-03-2009: Do Multi-layer crystals nucleate in suspensions of colloidal rods?
A. Patti and M. Dijkstra,

Physical Review Letters 102, 128301 (2009).


see also the movies: movie1, movie2, and movie3


21-11-2008: Self-Diffusion of Particles in Complex Fluids: Temporary Cages and Permanent Barriers
M. Bier, R. van Roij, M. Dijkstra, and P. van der Schoot,
Physical Review Letters 101, 215901 (2009).

09-01-2008: Marjolein Dijkstra presented her inaugural lecture
at 16.15 in the Academy building, Domplein 29, Utrecht. Read the inaugural lecture in Dutch.

01-07-2007: Evidence for out-of-equilibrium crystal nucleation in suspensions of oppositely charged colloids
E. Sanz, C. Valeriani, D. Frenkel, and M. Dijkstra,
Physical Review Letters 99, 055501 (2007).


Marjolein Dijkstra has been appointed to a personal chair.
See FacNieuws and Betanieuws (now B-updated).


13-02-2007: Experimental Observation of Structural Crossover in Binary Mixtures of Colloidal Hard Spheres
J. Baumgartl, R.P.A. Dullens, M. Dijkstra, R. Roth, and C. Bechinger,
Physical Review Letters 98, 198303 (2007).

26-02-2007: Kinetic pathways for the isotropic-nematic phase transition in a system of colloidal hard rods: a simulation study
A. Cuetos and M. Dijkstra,
Physical Review Letters 98, 095701 (2007).


12-02-2007: Towards a photonic band gap for visible light
A.-P. Hynninen, J. H. J. Thijssen, E. C. M. Vermolen, M. Dijkstra, and A. van Blaaderen,
Nature Materials 6, 202 (2007).

We have discovered a route by which crystals having a complete photonic band gap in the visible could be self-assembled from colloids. It makes use of the MgCu2 Laves phase, which consists of two sublattices, each of which can be used to make a photonic crystal after selective removal of the other:




Computer simulations show that the desired binary crystal should grow on a wall that carries a cleverly designed regular pattern:

A more detailed account can be found in our press release:
English or Dutch.

It can also be found on the FOM website.

12-02-2007: Andrea Fortini received his doctorate.
Bulk and confinement-induced phase transitions in colloidal suspensions


19-12-2006: Award of a prestigious VICI grant by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO).

Subject of the proposal: Colloidal self-assembly: Predicting and designing new structures using genetic algorithms

Please read the UU
press release (in Dutch).

13-7-2006: Isotropic-nematic interface and wetting in suspensions of colloidal platelets,
D. van der Beek, H. Reich, P. van der Schoot, M. Dijkstra, T. Schilling, R. Vink, R. van Roij, and H. Lekkerkerker,
Physical Review Letters 97, 087801 (2006).

Please read the press release by FOM

1-7-2006: Phase behaviour of hard spheres confined between parallel hard plates: manipulation of colloidal crystal structures by confinement
A. Fortini and M. Dijkstra,
J. Phys.: Condens. Matter 18, L371 (2006).

Movie 1
Movie 2, and
Movie 3

1-1-2006: Vice-chair of ESF RESEARCH CONFERENCES

Solid/Fluid Interfaces – Complex Fluid Interfaces and Nanofluidics
September, 9-14 2006 at Universitätszentrum Obergurgl, near Innsbruck, Austria.

08-05-2006: Slava Savenko received his doctorate.

08-03-2006: Prediction and observation of crystal structures of oppositely charged colloids
A.-P. Hynninen, C.G. Christova, R. van Roij, A. van Blaaderen, and M. Dijkstra,
Physical Review Letters 96, 138308 (2006)

Please read the press release by
FOM and UU
and the NRC (8 april 2006),
Volkskrant (8 april 2006),
Chemisch Weekblad 2005,
Chemisch Weekblad 2006





06-12-2005: Antti-Pekka Hynninen received his doctorate cum laude.

11-11-2005: CuAu structure in the restricted primitive model and oppositely charged colloids
A.-P. Hynninen, M.E. Leunissen, A. van Blaaderen and M. Dijkstra,
Physical Review Letters 96, 018303 (2006)

Experiments show CuAu structure in presence with fcc disordered crystal. Phase diagrams were calculated for restricted primitive model and oppositely charged colloids.

08-09-2005: SCM group publishes an article in Nature on Ionic colloidal crystals of oppositely charged particles

Please read the full story in our press release Gewone en exotische zouten maken met colloïden (in Dutch) or
Making common and exotic salts with colloids (in English) or read The news item on the Noorderlicht website (in Dutch) The news item on PhysicsWeb (in English)

05-07-2005: SCM group is awarded a prestigious TOP grant by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO).

Subject of the proposal: Ionic colloidal crystals.

There has been an NWO press release.

08-04-2005: Phase diagram of dipolar hard and soft
spheres: Manipulation of colloidal crystal structures by an external field

Antti-Pekka Hynninen and Marjolein Dijkstra,
Physical Review Letters 94, 138303 (2005)

Please read the press release by FOM.

28-2-2005: The Utrecht Colloid Course: An introduction to soft condensed matter & advanced colloid science started with about 50 international PhD students and 10 master students.

Please see Utrecht Colloid Course

1-1-2005: Member of Local Organizing Commitee of the 6th Liquid Matter Conference

which will take place July 2-6, 2005 at Utrecht University in The Netherlands. Previous conferences were held in Lyon (1990), Firenze (1993), Norwich (1996), Granada (1999) and Konstanz (2002). This series of meetings is organised by the Liquids Section of the Condensed Matter Division of the European Physical Society.


25-1-2004: article in U-blad:

30-6-2004: UU awards High Potentials subsidy to Marjolein Dijkstra, René van Roij and Arnout Imhof !

Please read the press release by Utrecht University or in Dutch.

16-7-2004: Capillary freezing or complete wetting of hard spheres in a planar hard slit?
Marjolein Dijkstra,
Physical Review Letters, 93, 108303 (2004)
Please read the press release by FOM.

25-6-2004: Floating liquid phase in sedimenting colloid-polymer mixtures
Matthias Schmidt, Marjolein Dijkstra, and Jean-Pierre Hansen,
Physical Review Letters 93, 088303 (2004)
Please read the press release by FOM.


07-07-2003: Organiser Cecam-ESF-Simu workshop

Effective many-body interactions and correlations in soft matter
July 7-9, 2003
Marjolein Dijkstra, (this page), René van Roij, Ard Louis, and Hans Hennig von Grünberg

19-04-2000: Minerva Prize 2000

by the Foundation for Fundamental Research on Matter (FOM) for the best scientific publication of a female physicist Please read the press release by FOM and an article in Parool (12 april 2000).

Nanodeeltjes pakken samen in onbestaanbare kristalvormen:
NRC (1 september 2014)

Utrecht maakt stapelgek kristal: Volkskrant (1 september 2014)

Een blik in de glazen bol:
NRC (7 januari 2012)

NVOX: Marjolein Dijkstra (September 2009)

Laves phases:
Bits&Chips (2 maart 2007)

Exotic crystals: NRC (8 april 2006)

Exotic crystals: Volkskrant (8 april 2006)

Exotic crystal: RTV Utrecht (at 6.30, 6 april 2006)

Exotic crystal: RTV Utrecht (at 7.00, 6 april 2006)

article in U-blad:  Twee
(25 November 2004)

Minervaprijs: Parool (12 april 2000)