prof.dr.ir. L. Abelmann (Leon)


About Me

My expertise lies in magnetostatics on the micro- and nanoscale. As a PhD student and postdoc, I worked mainly in the area of magnetic data storage, moving from tape recording to magnetic force microscopy, magnetic patterned media and probe storage. When the magnetic recording industry left Europe entirely, I changed my research field towards magnetostatics in combination with fluids.

Personal page


Engineering & Materials Science
3d Printers
Magnetic Fields
Self Assembly
Physics & Astronomy
Self Assembly
Magnetic Field
Magnetic Particle


I currently address two main fields.

Magnetism in life sciences

Magnetotactic BacteriumMagnetism combines well with organisms, since magnetic fields penetrate in most aqueous solutions and hardly interact with bio-chemical processes. Magnetic fields can for instance be used to apply forces and torques (using either magnetic particles or non-magnetic particles in magnetic fluids), to heat magnetic particles by induction or to detect their presence. My research team combines magnetic fields with microfluidic systems to study fundamental behavior of magnetic particles in solutions, or non-magnetic particles in magnetic solutions and to apply this in life sciences. Of special interest are magneto-tactic bacteria, which are self-propelling and can be controlled without having to apply large magnetic field gradients. We study manipulation of individual magneto-tactic bacteria inside micro-fluidic systems as model systems for future self-propelled medical micro-robots.

Magnetically assisted three-dimensional self-assembly

Self-assembled memoryAs mind-blowing as the achievements of lithography based micro-fabrication may be, the techniques remain essentially two-dimensional. In MEMS, this severely limits our design capabilities, especially for out-of-plane structures. In micro-electronics and data storage we will hit a fundamental limit on miniaturisation when the size of bits or electric connections reaches atomic dimensions. The only way forward is towards the third dimension, and in my opinion three-dimensional self-assembly is the only viable option on the long term. In self-assembly, the properties of the individual particles determine the final structure of the assembly. In my team, we use magnetism to tailor the interacting forces between particles, using either magnetic particles or non-magnetic particles in magnetic fluids. We transfer fundamental knowledge obtained at the millimeter scale to the micro- and nano-domain, and are especially interested in particles with low symmetry.

Research video's




Magdanz, V., Cumming, J. R., Salamzadeh, S., Tesselaar, S. , Alic, L. , Abelmann, L. , & S.M. Khalil, I. (2023). Influence of Nanoparticle Coating on the Differential Magnetometry and Wireless Actuation of Biohybrid Microrobots. In 2023 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS) (pp. 2653-2658). IEEE. https://doi.org/10.1109/IROS55552.2023.10341258
Welleweerd, M. K. , Hageman, T. , Pichel, M., Van As, D., Keizer, H., Hendrix, J., Micheal, M. M. , Khalil, I. S. M., Mir, A., Korkmaz, N., Kräwinkel, R., Chevrier, D. M., Faivre, D., Fernandez-Castane, A., Pfeiffer, D. , & Abelmann, L. (2022). An open-source automated magnetic optical density meter for analysis of suspensions of magnetic cells and particles. Review of scientific instruments, 93(9), Article 094101. https://doi.org/10.1063/5.0098008
Soyarslan, C. , Havinga, J. , Abelmann, L. , & van den Boogaard, T. (2022). Estimation of the Effective Magnetic Properties of Two-Phase Steels. In G. Vincze, & F. Barlat (Eds.), Achievements and Trends in Material Forming- Peer-reviewed extended papers selected from the 25th International Conference on Material Forming, ESAFORM 2022 (pp. 2040-2049). (Key Engineering Materials; Vol. 926 KEM). Trans Tech Publications Ltd. https://doi.org/10.4028/p-3no5jw
Groenhuis, V., Rolff, G., Bosman, K. , Abelmann, L. , & Stramigioli, S. (2022). Absolute Position Detection in 7-Phase Sensorless Electric Stepper Motor. In 2022 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS) https://doi.org/10.1109/IROS47612.2022.9981190
van Renselaar, E., Keitel, B., Dinc, M., Mizaikoff, B. , Susarrey Arce, A. , Gardeniers, H. , Abelmann, L. , & S. M. Khalil, I. (2022). Scaling Rules for Microrobots with Full Energetic Autonomy. In S. Haliyo, M. Boudaoud, E. Diller, X. Liu, Y. Sun, & S. Fatikow (Eds.), Proceedings of MARSS, International Conference on Manipulation, Automation and Robotics at Small Scales IEEE. https://doi.org/10.1109/MARSS55884.2022.9870509
Other Contributions

Google Scholar Link


Leon Abelmann was very active in education in the Electrical Engineering and Advanced Technology programs, as well as the Honours Program of the University of Twente. He was nominated teacher of the year for Electrical Engineering from 2002 to 2011, only interupted in 2010, and was recipient of the price in 2005. He received the best teacher award for the Advanced Technology bachelor program in 2010, and the award for excellent education by the TNW department in 2012.

Education pages

Affiliated Study Programmes


Courses Academic Year  2023/2024

Courses in the current academic year are added at the moment they are finalised in the Osiris system. Therefore it is possible that the list is not yet complete for the whole academic year.

Courses Academic Year  2022/2023

Contact Details

Visiting Address

University of Twente
Drienerlolaan 5
7522 NB Enschede
The Netherlands

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Mailing Address

University of Twente
P.O. Box 217
7500 AE Enschede
The Netherlands

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