Science and Technology of Nanosystems (STN)


The Helmholtz Research Programme STN (Science and Technology of Nanosystems) takes on the challenge of controlling and shaping materials from the atomic and molecular up to the macroscopic scale to explore their entire potential of novel functionalities.

STN is dedicated towards research and development of

Our activities span the entire range from fundamental science to high performance technologies and integrated systems. We closely cooperate with the Karlsruhe Nano Micro Facility (KNMF) as a large-scale user facility for multimaterial nano and micro technologies.

Head of STN Programme
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Aerobuster invented by Thomas Blank, Horst Hahn, Jochen Kriegseis, and Martin Limbach (from the left) guarantees virus-free air in the waiting area. (Photo: Markus Breig, KIT)Markus Breig, KIT
Aerobuster Hunts for Corona Viruses

November 12, 2020

Aerosols play an important role in the spreading of Covid 19. When breathing, speaking, or coughing, these small droplets loaded with Corona viruses disperse in indoor air. Schools, kindergartens, lecture halls of universities, medical practices, or restaurants are particularly affected. Scientists of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) have now developed an effective, safe, and quickly available solution. Aerobuster is a simple, compact device that effectively inactivates viruses and other pathogens in room air.

Press Release 100/2020
NMR probe (left) with miniaturized detector (right). In HiSCORE, such detectors will be combined with hyperpolarization to acquire binding processes of substance candidates. (Photos: Markus Breig, KIT)Markus Breig, KIT
Drug Screening at Far Higher Throughput

November 05, 2020

Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) is an important tool in drug research, since it can quantify and spatially resolve binding of drugs to pathogens. So far, however, NMR has lacked the sensitivity and throughput to scan large libraries of drug candidates. Within the “HiSCORE“ project, research teams of Professor Jan Gerrit Korvink and Dr. Benno Meier from Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), in cooperation with partners from Paris and Nijmegen, will now develop a method for high-throughput screening (HTS). This project will be funded by a Synergy Grant awarded by the European Research Council (ERC).

Press Release 098/2020
Color change: The right microcylinder printed with the novel photoresist appears white, because light is scattered in its sponge-like structure, whereas the cylinder printed with conventional photoresist appears transparent. (Figure: 3DMM2O)3DMM2O
Novel Photoresist Enables 3D Printing of Smallest Porous Structures

September 09, 2020

Researchers of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) and Heidelberg University have developed a photoresist for two-photon microprinting. It has now been used for the first time to produce three-dimensional polymer microstructures with cavities in the nanorange. In Advanced Materials, the scientists involved in the joint Cluster of Excellence 3D Matter Made to Order report how porosity can be controlled during printing and how this affects light scattering properties of the microstructures. (DOI: 10.1002/adma.202002044)

Press Release 077/2020
Future mobile network: Small radio cells (orange) are connected by wireless high-speed terahertz links (green). (Figure: IPQ, KIT / Nature Photonics)IPQ, KIT / Nature Photonics
Terahertz Receiver for 6G Wireless Communications

September 08, 2020

Future wireless networks of the 6th generation (6G) will consist of a multitude of small radio cells that need to be connected by broadband communication links. In this context, wireless transmission at THz frequencies represents a particularly attractive and flexible solution. Researchers at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) have now developed a novel concept for low-cost terahertz receivers that consist of a single diode in combination with a dedicated signal processing technique. In a proof-of-concept experiment, the team demonstrated transmission at a data rate of 115 Gbit/s and a carrier frequency of 0.3 THz over a distance of 110 meters. The results are reported in Nature Photonics (DOI: 10.1038/s41566-020-0675-0).

Press Release 076/2020