Max Planck Institute for Solid State Research

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Max Planck Institute for Solid State Research
Formation1969; 50 years ago (1969)
TypeScientific institute
PurposeResearch in the physics and chemistry of solid states
HeadquartersStuttgart, Germany
Managing Director
Prof Dr Walter Metzner
Parent organization
Max Planck Society
Website‹See Tfd›(in English)
‹See Tfd›(in German)

The Max Planck Institute for Solid State Research (German: Max-Planck-Institut für Festkörperforschung) was founded in 1969 and is one of the 82 Max Planck Institutes of the Max Planck Society. It is located on a campus in Stuttgart, together with the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems.

Research Focus[edit]

Research at the Max Planck Institute for Solid State Research is focused on the physics and chemistry of condensed matter, including especially complex materials and nanoscale science. In both of these fields, electronic and ionic transport phenomena are of particular interest.


The institute currently has eight departments.[1]

Electronic Structure Theory[edit]

Led by Ali Alavi, the Department of Electronic Structure Theory is concerned with the development of ab initio methods for treating correlated electronic systems, using Quantum Monte Carlo, quantum chemical and many-body methodologies. Ab initio methods (including density functional theory) will be applied to problems of interest in heterogeneous catalysis, surface chemistry, electrochemistry, and photochemistry.

Solid State Spectroscopy[edit]

The Department of Solid State Spectroscopy is headed by Bernhard Keimer. Collective quantum phenomena in highly correlated electronic materials are studied by spectroscopic and scattering techniques. Topics of particular current interest include the interplay between charge, orbital, and spin degrees of freedom in transition metal oxides, the mechanism of high-temperature superconductivity, and the control of electronic phase behavior in metal-oxide superlattices. The department also develops new spectroscopic methods such as high-resolution neutron spectroscopy and spectral ellipsometry.

Nanoscale Science[edit]

Research efforts in the Department of Nanoscale Science, directed by Klaus Kern, are centered on nanometer-scale science and technology with a focus on the bottom-up paradigm. The aim of the interdisciplinary research at the interface between physics, chemistry and biology is to gain control of materials at the atomic and molecular level, enabling the design of systems and devices with properties determined by quantum behavior on one hand and approaching functionalities of living matter on the other hand.

Low Dimensional Electron Systems[edit]

The main focus of the scientific work in the Department Low Dimensional Electron Systems is on electronic properties of 2-, 1-, and 0-dimensional electron systems, in particular the influence of quantum phenomena on the transport and optical response. It is headed by Klaus von Klitzing.

Physical Chemistry of Solids[edit]

Under Joachim Maier, the Department of Physical Chemistry of Solids is concerned with electrochemistry and ion transport. Emphasis is laid on ion conductors (such as inorganic or organic proton, metal ion and oxygen ion conductors) and mixed conductors (typically perovskites). The research ranges from the exploration of basic mechanisms to the design of materials for electrochemical applications (batteries, fuel cells, sensors). Of special significance is the scientific foundation of the field Nanoionics.

Solid State Quantum Electronics[edit]

Induced by quantum mechanical phenomena, heterostructures grown from complex materials offer a fascinating potential to create novel electron systems. Many have outstanding properties that are not otherwise found in nature. The design, growth, and exploration of such electron systems are at the focus of the Department of Solid State Quantum Electronics spearheaded by Klaus von Klitzing.

Quantum Many-Body Theory[edit]

Directed by Walter Metzner, Electronic properties of solids are analyzed and computed in the Department of Quantum Many-Body Theory with a main emphasis on systems where electronic correlations play a crucial role, such as cuprates, manganites and other transition metal oxides. Besides symmetry-breaking phase transitions leading to magnetism, orbital and charge order, or superconductivity, correlations can also cause electron localization and many other striking many-body effects not described by the independent electron approximation.

Quantum Materials[edit]

Entanglement of electrons in solids, in combination with details of the crystal lattice structure, produce a surprisingly rich variety of electronic phases, that are liquid, liquid-crystal and crystalline states of the charge and spin degrees of freedom. These complex electronic phases and the subtle competition among them very often give rise to novel functionality. The Department of Quantum Materials, led by Hidenori Takagi, is studying these interesting novel phases in transition metal oxides and related compounds where the narrow d-bands, which give rise to strong electron correlations, in combination with the rich chemistry of such materials provide excellent opportunities for new discoveries.

Scientific Members[edit]

Research Groups[edit]

13 Research Groups have been established at the institute since 2005:[2]

  • Organic Electronics (Hagen Klauk, since 2005)
  • Ultrafast Nanooptics (Markus Lippitz, junior professorship at the University of Stuttgart, since 2006)
  • Theory of Semiconductor Nanostructures (Gabriel Bester, since 2007)
  • Tunneling Spectroscopy of Strongly Correlated Electron Materials (Peter Wahl, since 2009)
  • Computational Approaches to Superconductivity (Lilia Boeri, 2009-2013)
  • Solid State Nanophysics (Jurgen Smet, since 2011)
  • Nanochemistry (Bettina Lotsch, 2011-2016)
  • Dynamics of Nanoelectronic Systems (Sebastian Loth, Collaboration with the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science, since 2011)
  • Nanoscale Functional Heterostructures (Ionela Vrejoiu, since 2012)
  • X-ray spectroscopy of oxide heterostructures (Eva Benckiser, since 2014)
  • Ultrafast Solid State Spectroscopy (Stefan Kaiser, junior professorship at the University of Stuttgart, since 2014)
  • Electronic Structure of Correlated Materials (Philipp Hansmann, since 2015)
  • Computational Quantum Chemistry for Solids (Andreas Grüneis, since 2015)

International Max Planck Research School (IMPRS)[edit]

Since 2014 the Institute operates the International Max Planck Research School for Condensed Matter Science (IMPRS-CMS), a joint program with the University of Stuttgart. The Speaker is Bernhard Keimer. The IMPRS-CMS is the successor of the "IMPRS for Advanced Materials" a joint project together with the MPI for Intelligent Systems and the University of Stuttgart, which started in 2001.

Max Planck Center[edit]

The Max Planck-EPFL Center for Molecular Nanoscience and Technology[3] serves as a forum for cooperative research by bringing together scientists of the Max Planck Society and the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL). The Center explores novel scientific aspects of molecular nanostructures with a particular focus on new science relevant for sustainable energy, chemical sensing and biomedical technologies.

The Max Planck-UBC Center for Quantum Materials[4] provides a forum for interdisciplinary cooperation between physicists, chemists, and materials scientists working in the field of quantum phenomena in complex materials.

Emeritus Scientific Members[edit]


The Institute employs approximately 430 people, including 110 scientists, 90 PhD students and 70 guest scientists.

External links[edit]


  1. ^ "Departments". Retrieved 15 April 2015.
  2. ^ "Research groups". Retrieved 15 April 2015.
  3. ^ [1] Max Planck-EPFL Center for Molecular Nanoscience and Technology
  4. ^ [2] Max Planck-UBC Center for Quantum Materials

Coordinates: 48°44′48″N 9°4′51″E / 48.74667°N 9.08083°E / 48.74667; 9.08083