If you made any changes in Pure these will be visible here soon.

Personal profile


"To most organisms crystallization of water into ice is lethal. I am fascinated by the way antifreeze proteins protect against damage and want to develop new macromolecular antifreezes for sensitive soft materials."

Research profile

Ilja Voets leads an interdisciplinary team of chemists, physicists, biologists, and engineers, studying self-assembly processes in (biological) soft matter. The goal of the Voets research group is to gain fundamental insights in these processes and translate them into rational design strategies for novel functional soft materials. Voets is interested in colloidal self-organization, polymer assembly and folding, and protein biophysics. She studies how to control intra- and intermolecular copolymer assembly to reveal key structure-property relations, to package fragile biomolecules, to develop artificial enzymes, to enhance colloidal stability and to tailor smart materials. She has a particular fascination for ice-binding proteins (IBPs) that help fish, insects, and plants survive in extreme environments at subzero temperatures. Another key research challenge is to orchestrate colloidal self-assembly with remote cues such as light and temperature.

Academic background

Ilja Voets studied Molecular Sciences at Wageningen University & Research, where she obtained her PhD (cum laude) in 2008 at the Laboratory of Physical Chemistry and Colloid Science under supervision of dr. Arie de Keizer and prof. Martien A. Cohen Stuart. Her PhD thesis focused on micellisation in dilute aqueous solutions of two oppositely charge double hydrophilic block copolymers. From 2008-2011 Voets was a postdoctoral researcher at the AldolpheMerkle Institute of the University of Fribourg (Switzerland). In 2011 she started as assistant professor (tenure track) in Physical Chemistry at Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e), at the Department of Chemical Engineering and Chemistry and the Institute for Complex Molecular Systems. Since 2018 she is a full professor at TU/e. 

Affiliated with

  • Institute for Complex Molecular Systems
  • Eindhoven Polymer Laboratories
  • Gravity Program Functional Molecular Systems

Partners in (semi-)industry:

  • DSM
  • Kemetyl
  • Unilever

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics where Ilja K. Voets is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • 10 Similar Profiles
Polymers Chemical Compounds
Micelles Chemical Compounds
Water Chemical Compounds
Self assembly Chemical Compounds
Block copolymers Chemical Compounds
Ice Chemical Compounds
Nanoparticles Chemical Compounds
Ionic strength Chemical Compounds

Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Research Output 2005 2020

19 Citations (Scopus)
109 Downloads (Pure)

IPAINT: A general approach tailored to image the topology of interfaces with nanometer resolution

Aloi, A., Vilanova, N., Albertazzi, L. & Voets, I. K., 28 Apr 2016, In : Nanoscale. 8, 16, p. 8712-8716 5 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Open Access
Imaging techniques
Microscopic examination
54 Citations (Scopus)
130 Downloads (Pure)

Blocking rapid ice crystal growth through nonbasal plane adsorption of antifreeze proteins

Olijve, L. L. C., Meister, K., DeVries, A. L., Duman, J. G., Guo, S., Bakker, H. J. & Voets, I. K., 5 Apr 2016, In : Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS). 113, 14, p. 3740-3745 6 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Open Access
Antifreeze Proteins
Hot Temperature
49 Citations (Scopus)
7 Downloads (Pure)

Sticky Supramolecular Grafts Stretch Single Polymer Chains

Gillissen, M. A. J., Terashima, T., Meijer, E. W., Palmans, A. R. A. & Voets, I. K., 2013, In : Macromolecules. 46, 10, p. 4120-4125 6 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Self assembly
1 Downloads (Pure)

Architecture-dependent interplay between self-assembly and crystallization in discrete block co-oligomers

Petkau-Milroy, K., Ianiro, A., Ahn, M. M. L., Magana, J. R., Vleugels, M. E. J., Lamers, B. A. G., Tuinier, R., Voets, I. K., Palmans, A. R. A. & Meijer, E. W., 2020, In : ACS Macro Letters. 9, p. 38-42 5 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Open Access
Self assembly
Lactic acid
1 Citation (Scopus)
1 Downloads (Pure)

Correction: RTX Adhesins are Key Bacterial Surface Megaproteins in the Formation of Biofilms (Trends in Microbiology (2019) 27(5) (453–467), (S0966842X18302798), (10.1016/j.tim.2018.12.003))

Guo, S., Vance, T. D. R., Stevens, C. A., Voets, I. K. & Davies, P. L., May 2019, In : Trends in Microbiology. 27, 5, p. 470 1 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/Letter to the editorAcademicpeer-review

Open Access
Bacterial Adhesins


Carrier Proteins
Antifreeze Proteins

New chemical building blocks for de-icing and anti-icing of car windows

I.K. Voets (Recipient), 2017

Prize: ERCProof of conceptScientific


NWO Veni Award : Balancing with proteins

I.K. Voets (Recipient), 25 Nov 2010

Prize: NWOVeniScientific


NWO Vidi Award : Adaptive materials with molecular light switches

I.K. Voets (Recipient), 2014

Prize: NWOVidiScientific



Biological physics

1/09/12 → …


Capita selecta

1/09/16 → …


Experimental soft matter

1/09/15 → …


Graduation Project MSMC

1/09/15 → …


ICMS Industrial Challenge

1/09/17 → …


Press / Media

Antivries in het bloed

Ilja K. Voets


1 item of Media coverage

Press/Media: Public Engagement Activities

Student theses

Activity of antifreeze proteins: the possible role of a monomer-dimer equilibrium

Author: van Schijndel, L., 31 Aug 2014

Supervisor: Meijer, E. (Supervisor 1), Milroy, L. (Supervisor 2), Voets, I. (Supervisor 2) & Olijve, L. (Supervisor 2)

Student thesis: Master

Benzene-1,3,5-tricarboxamide based supramolecular organogels: from molecular self-assembly to macroscopic properties

Author: Haveman, J., 16 Oct 2014

Supervisor: Palmans, A. (Supervisor 1), Wyss, H. (Supervisor 2), Voets, I. (Supervisor 2), Meijer, E. (Supervisor 2) & Meuldijk, J. (Supervisor 2)

Student thesis: Master

Complex coacervate core micelles containing poly(vinyl alcohol) for anti-icing applications

Author: Sproncken, C., Apr 2017

Supervisor: Voets, I. (Supervisor 1), Suris Valls, R. (Supervisor 2) & Tuinier, R. (Supervisor 2)

Student thesis: Master

Folding of polymer chains in water: an interplay between hydrophobic and hydrogen-bonding interactions

Author: de Windt, L., 26 Jan 2017

Supervisor: Meijer, E. (Supervisor 1), ter Huurne, G. (Supervisor 2), Palmans, A. (Supervisor 2) & Voets, I. (Supervisor 2)

Student thesis: Master

Increasing rod-rod interaction of polyethylene glycol bisurea based supramolecular polymers by introduction of metal coordination binding

Author: Pirotte, G., 31 Aug 2013

Supervisor: Koenigs, M. (Supervisor 1), Sijbesma, R. (Supervisor 2), Dankers, P. (Supervisor 2) & Voets, I. (Supervisor 2)

Student thesis: Master