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October 14th 2019

Approved mission budget

Number MBD
Title Mission budget DIFFER (MBD) 
Executive organisational unit DIFFER
Director Prof.dr.ir. M.C.M. van de Sanden 

DIFFER's mission is:
To perform leading fundamental research in the fields of fusion energy and solar fuels, in close partnership with academia and industry, and to have a national coordinating role in the field of fundamental energy research.

To fulfil this mission DIFFER has charted a strategic course in accordance with both FOM and NWO strategies. For the years until 2016 the DIFFER strategy implies four equally important goals:

1.  Performing top-level fundamental energy research in fusion and solar fuels;
2.  Maintaining and exploiting the high-quality technical infrastructure;
3.  Acquiring a national coordinating role in fundamental energy research;
4.  Further intensifying the collaborations with universities and Large Technological Institutes (LTI's).

The strategic research focus on fusion and solar fuels finds its origin in DIFFER's scientific and technological track record as well as in one of the biggest challenges facing mankind: providing breakthrough solutions to the energy and climate change issue.

FOM Institute DIFFER currently runs the following FOM programmes and Industrial Partnership Programmes:

- PSI-lab: an integrated laboratory on plasma-surface interaction (nr. 75);
- Magnum-PSI: a world-class user facility to tame the plasma-wall interface (nr. 148);
The science of atmospheric plasma processing of functional films (nr. i31);
Active control of magneto-hydrodynamic modes in burning plasmas (nr. 120);

The infrastructure for these programmes is financed out of the mission budget.

Further, the institute executes a number of FOM projects from the Projectruimte, other FOM programmes, NWO, industry, the European fusion programme and other EU programmes in the area of the FOM programmes mentioned above and EUVL optics.

Also, the FOM-focus groups for fundamental energy research form part of and are scientifically connected to DIFFER. These focus groups are:
Next generation organic photovoltaics (nr. 130), located at RUG;
- Light management in new photovoltaic materials (nr. 131), located at AMOLF.


In 2010 the Governing Board of FOM decided to transform Rijnhuizen to DIFFER, Dutch Institute for Fundamental Energy Research, and to relocate the institute in the coming years to a new building at the campus of the Technological University of Eindhoven.
DIFFER started officially on 1 January 2012. In line with the chosen research themes Fusion and solar fuels the organisational structure will be changed: for Solar fuels research two new divisions will be established: Materials and materials engineering for Solar Fuels (MaSF) and Devices and processing technologies for Solar Fuels (DeSF). Fusion research will be carried out in the existing divisions Fusion and Plasma Surface Interactions.
The division Nanolayer Surfaces and Interface Physics (nSI, leading in the development of Extreme UV optics and mirrors) will be relocated to the University of Twente. All programme activities within the nSI departments will be of a transitional nature until relocation has been established in July 2014.

DIFFER has been evaluated by an international panel in September 2011 as excellent. The strategic plan DIFFER 2011-2016 was strongly supported by the international panel. The next mission evaluation takes place in 2017. 

Please find a research highlight that was achieved in 2014 within the DIFFER mission budget here.

Additional information
Evolution of transiently melt damaged tungsten under ITER relevant divertor plasma heat loading, S. Bardin, T.W. Morgan, X. Glad, R.A. Pitts, G. De Temmerman, J. Nucl. Mater. (2014).
See also:
News release about the test with ELM's, the 'solar flares' in the fusion reactor
Video of the test with the ELMs