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Freek Ariese

Department of Physics and Astronomy

Assoc. Dr. Freek Ariese studied chemistry at the University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands, including a one-year’s MSc research project at ELTE University in Budapest, Hungary. In 1993 he obtained his PhD at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam for his research on low-temperature fluorescence analysis of metabolites of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), an important class of environmental pollutants. He then worked for three years as a postdoc in the US on the binding of PAH carcinogens to DNA (also using laser-induced fluorescence under cryogenic conditions) and for three years as project manager at the VU-Institute for Environmental Studies.

Currently Dr Ariese is Associate Professor, coordinator of the minor program Biomedical Imaging, and Deputy Director of LaserlaB Amsterdam, a European Large-scale Research Institute. Nowadays his main research activities are focused on Raman spectroscopy, with emphasis on advanced Raman modes. The results have been disseminated through almost 200 peer-reviewed publications. He teaches various spectroscopy courses at the bachelor, master and PhD level, and is involved in the management of a Europe-wide consortium of laser research centers. For several years he was also visiting scientist at the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore, focusing on special applications of Raman spectroscopy.

Research Interests

Current research activities in our team are focused on advanced Raman spectroscopy for extra sensitivity, selectivity or speed. Applications can be (pre-)clinical, environmental, space, cultural heritage or material science. A deep-UV Raman setup was developed to improve plastic waste sorting in a recycling factory. Time-resolved Raman spectroscopy can be employed to suppress fluorescence or to detect Raman signals from a deeper layer covered by a non-transparent (translucent) top layer. The latter could for instance be used in future searches for traces of subsurface extraterrestrial life. A Stimulated Raman Scattering (SRS) setup was developed to dramatically increase the data collection speed for 2D and 3D mapping. Applications include the identification of environmental microplastics, and the quantification of silicone residues from leaking implants in breast tissue. Raman and SRS mapping are also used as label-free techniques to chemically characterize plaque areas in post mortem brain tissue from Alzheimer’s patients. Multivariate approaches are developed in order to process and visualize the spectroscopic information underlying the Raman images.

Selected publications 

  • Ettema L, Lochocki B, Hoozemans, JJM, de Boer JF, Ariese, F: Label-free Raman and fluorescence imaging of Aβ-deposits in human Alzheimer’s Disease brain tissue reveals carotenoid accumulations. J. Optics 24 (2022) 054005 (12pp)
  • Groeneveld, I., Schoemaker, S.E., Somsen, G.W., Ariese, F., van Bommel, M.R.: Characterization of a Liquid-Core Waveguide cell for studying the chemistry of light-induced degradation. Analyst (2021) DOI: 10.1039/d1an00272d
  • van Haasterecht, L, Zada, L, Schmidt, RW, de Bakker, E, Barbé, E, Leslie, HA, Vethaak, AD, Gibbs, S, de Boer, JF, Niessen, FB, van Zuijlen, PPM, Groot, ML, Ariese, F (2020) Label-free Stimulated Raman Scattering imaging reveals silicone breast implant material in tissue. J. Biophotonics. 2020;13:e201960197;
  • Hanke F, Mooij BJA, Ariese F, Böttger U: The evaluation of Time-Resolved Raman Spectroscopy for the suppression of background fluorescence from space-relevant samples, J. Raman Spectrosc. 50 (2019) 969–982. DOI: 10.1002/jrs.5586
  • Zada L, Leslie HA, Vethaak AD, Tinnevelt GH, Jansen JJ, de Boer JF, Ariese F: Fast microplastics identification with Stimulated Raman Scattering Microscopy. J. Raman Spectrosc. 2018 1-9 DOI: 10.1002/jrs.5367.

For a complete publication list, please look at

Meet Assoc. Dr. Freek Ariese



Freek Ariese teaches the following classes:

  • Microscopie & Spectroscopie (BSc Medical Natural Sciences)
  • Project Biomedische Beeldvorming (BSc Medical Natural Sciences)
  • Spectroscopic Analysis (MSc chemistry)
  • Advanced Spectroscopy (MSc Chemistry)