The Mission

The focus area “Functional Materials at the Nanoscale” (Nanoskalige Funktionsmaterialien, in short "NanoScale") focuses at advanced interdisciplinary research on materials properties of nanoscale systems.

Size of Nanosystems

Size of objects (source: National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, USA,

The systems we are interested in range from nanotubes and nanoparticles over macromolecules up to peptides and proteins. Collaborative research projects in chemistry, physics, cell biology, biochemistry, and biophysics explore molecules, molecular assemblies and low-dimensional solids from various perspectives and levels of complexity with exquisite spatial and temporal resolution. 

In biology, for example, the functionality of the biomembrane will serve as a focal point for medical, pharmacological and biotechnological advances. Chemistry will synthesize novel materials, guided by biology and technology, introduce new molecules to biosciences and medicine, and design functional surfaces and interfaces. Physics will explore fundamental properties and processes in nanoscale hybrid systems and for interface engineering.

The Vision

We envision the creation and control of existing and novel materials and molecular processes from individual components with highest precision. Emerging visions are, for example, the production of functional biomembrane units, of drugs that find their targets with highest fidelity, of novel substrates for tissue regeneration, and of single nanosystems for information storage and processing.

The Research Environment

The Focus Area relies on the departments of biology, chemistry and pharmacy and of physics and is embedded in the excellent research networks of the Berlin area including all universities and many non-university research institutions.