About us

Software for Chemistry & Materials (SCM) is an Amsterdam-based computational chemistry software company. Originally spinning out from the Vrije Universiteit as Scientific Computing & Modelling NV in 1995, the SCM team supports and develops the ADF Modeling Suite, centered around the flagship program Amsterdam Density Functional (ADF), which was originally developed in the 1970s in the theoretical chemistry department. Over a 100 authors have contributed to our software.

SCM is now a thriving private company collaborating with academic development groups around the world. SCM’s powerful computational chemistry tools are used by seasoned theoreticians as well as experimental researchers. Our customers are active in academia, government labs and industry studying various fields of chemistry and materials science.

Our heritage

The foundations for ADF were laid in the 1970s, when Prof. Baerends pursued his Ph.D. at the VU University in Amsterdam. Prof. Ziegler joined the development efforts from early on as a post-doc. Both professors have been actively advocating the use of density functional methods to get insight in chemistry and materials properties. Their Ph.D. students and post-docs have considerably contributed to the further development of ADF and BAND, as did the Snijders group in Groningen (see also list of theses). Profs. Baerends and Ziegler were also actively involved with scientific advise for SCM, completing the board of directors with CEO Dr. Stan van Gisbergen. Sadly, Prof. Ziegler sadly passed away in 2015 (see tribute).

Prof. Baerends’ Ph.D. work in the early 1970s laid the foundation for ADF. With a very broad DFT-related interest, a strong pragmatic approach and theoretical grasp, the further development of ADF and BAND has always been a primary research focus. After his Dutch retirement and a few years at Pohang University of Science and Technology he is still active as an emeritus professor at the VU in the Theoretical Chemistry group, which he has headed for a long time. Prof. Baerends is a member of the International Academy of Quantum Molecular Science and the Royal Netherlands Academy of Science.

Prof. Ziegler joined the ADF developments very early. He has headed the Theoretical Inorganic Chemistry group at the University of Calgary, Canada, until he suddenly and peacefully passed away in March 2015. Many developments in the ADF Modeling Suite have come from his group, including PES studies, COSMO, and new methods for bonding analysis and spectroscopy. Prof. Ziegler held the prestigious Canada Research Chair, is highly cited among experimental and theoretical chemists alike, and has won many awards, including the Schrödinger Medal  and the Steacie Award. Prof. Ziegler held a broad DFT-related research interest, as described in our commemoration.