Prof. Dr. Ing. Dave H.A. Blank was born in 1953 in Amsterdam, Netherlands. He started his studies on the primary technical school (LTS), followed by the secondary (MTS) and higher technical school (HTS). After his masters in Applied Physics, he received in 1991 his PhD in Physics from the University of Twente, Netherlands for his dissertation on High-Tc thin films prepared by laser ablation: an experimental study, under supervision of prof. dr. Horst Rogalla.
In 1992 he became assistant professor in Rogalla’s group. After a research fellowship at Stanford in the group of prof. Malcolm Beasley and prof. Theodore Geballe in 1998, he was appointed as associate professor and programme director on the materials science of interfaces in the MESA+ Institute for Nanotechnology at the University of Twente. Since October 2002 he is full professor in Inorganic Materials Science at the same university. From January 1, 2007 he is the Scientific Director of MESA+ Institute for Nanotechnology, University of Twente. MESA+ host 500 scientists with an annual budget over 40 MEuro. More information can be found at: www.mesaplus.utwente.nl.
His research is based upon growth studies, deposition and structuring techniques, and properties of complex materials, especially oxides. The class of investigated materials includes superconducting and related materials, ion conductors, passivation layers and anti-reflection coatings, tuneable inorganic membranes, transparent conductors, high-K dielectrics, ferroelectrics, PIEZO’s, ferromagnetics, and multiferroics.
Together with dr. Guus Rijnders, associate professor in his group, the first time-resolved high pressure RHEED-system was developed; operating in-situ during pulsed laser deposition at high pressures up to 100 Pa. With this system several new growth phenomena have been observed, leading to new growth techniques of complex materials, like pulsed laser interval deposition. Furthermore, the systems can be used to study and realize block-by-block deposition of (artificial) complex materials. More information about his research activities can be found in the section: noteworthy scientific results.
In 2002 he was awarded with the VICI laureate of the Dutch Science Foundation (NWO) for his work on artificial materials for nanoscale devices.
In 2004 he became Flagship Captain of nano-electronic materials science of the NanoNed programme (Dutch initiative on nanotechnology). From 2007 on he is member of the board of governors of NanoNed.
His research group has 18 PhD students, 5 postdoc’s and 4 scientific staff members. He has over 180 papers in refereed journals, given over 100 lectures for scientific as well as general audience, and has been author and/or editor of several books.