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News Archive
Wolfgang Wernsdorfer vom KIT forscht an möglichen Bausteinen kommender Quantencomputer. (Foto: Marco Schilling)[DE] Wissenschaftspreis der Hector Stiftung geht an Physiker des KIT

February 4, 2020

Professor Wolfgang Wernsdorfer vom Karlsruher Institut für Technologie (KIT) erhält in diesem Jahr den mit 150 000 Euro dotierten Wissenschaftspreis der Hector Stiftung. Die Jury würdigt damit die herausragenden Leistungen des 53-jährigen Physikers bei der Entwicklung von Quantencomputern. Mit seiner Grundlagenforschung zu Nanomagneten und elektronischen Schaltkreisen gilt er als Pionier dieser Zukunftstechnologie, die eines Tages die Rechenleistung von heutigen Computern weit übertreffen soll. Wernsdorfer wird zudem als Mitglied in die Hector Fellow Academy aufgenommen.

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New material concepts for solar cells will be studied within the “KeraSolar” project of KIT’s Material Research Center for Energy Systems (MZE). (Photo: Markus Breig, KIT)Combining the Best Properties: New Material Concept for Solar Cells

November 18, 2019

Researchers of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) want to develop an entirely new solar cell concept within the project “Novel liquid applied ceramic solar cells” (KeraSolar). They will combine photovoltaics research with ceramic functional materials to make use of the advantages of different solar cell technologies: Printability of organic and long-term stability of crystalline solar cells as well as ferroelectricity of perovskites. 

Press Release 151/2019
The metamaterial printed with the new system consists of a complex three-dimensional lattice structure on the micrometer scale. (Photo: Vincent Hahn, KIT)Fastest High-precision 3D Printer

January 28, 2020

3D printers working in the millimeter range and larger are increasingly used in industrial production processes. Many applications, however, require precise printing on the micrometer scale at a far higher speed. Researchers of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) have now developed a system to print highly precise, centimeter-sized objects with submicrometer details at a so far unmatched speed. This system is presented in a special issue of Advanced Functional Materials (DOI: 10.1002/adfm.201907795).

Press Release 007/2020
 Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier presents the Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany to Britta Nestler of KIT. (Photo: Federal Government / Gero Breloer)Cross of the Order of Merit for Britta Nestler

October 02, 2019

“Mut zur Zukunft: Grenzen überwinden” (looking boldly into the future: crossing borders) – under this heading, Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier presented the Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany to 25 citizens on the occasion of the Day of German Unity. One of the honored citizens is Professor Britta Nestler, who conducts research and teaches at both Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) and Karlsruhe University of Applied Sciences. She received the Cross for her scientific merits and in particular for her pioneer role in combining fundamental with applied research.

Press Release 128/2019
Award ceremony of the Erwin Schrödinger Prize to the multidisciplinary team of KIT at the annual meeting of the Helmholtz Association. (Photo: Marco Urban)The perfect solar cell: How ferroelectricity improves power harvesting in perovskite solar cells

September 20, 2019

Within a few years only, methylammonium lead iodide (MAPbI3), and later more advanced organic metal halide perovskites, has performed an unprecedented rally towards highest power conversion efficiencies of more than 25% rivalling other solar cell technologies such as the ‘old bull’ silicon photovoltaics. A multi-disciplinary team of six scientists from electrical engineering, material science and physics at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) has found evidence for ferroelectric domains in MAPbI3 thin-films. These ferroelectric microstructures can explain the extraordinary photovoltaic performance of modern perovskite solar cells. For their cutting-edge research, the team was awarded the Erwin-Schrödinger-Prize of the Helmholz Association an the Helmholtz Foundation.

Press Release 121/2019
The researchers engaged in the Capitano project are developing new materials, processes and prototypes for highly efficient perovskite solar cells and modules. (Photo: Markus Breig, KIT)Tandem Solar Modules: One-Two Combination Packs a More Powerful Punch

September 02, 2019

The efficiency ceiling of commercially available solar modules leaves little room for improvement. Tandem solar modules with two light-harvesting active layers have far greater potential. The future could well belong to this promising technology. Research-ers engaged in the Capitano project are combining thin-film solar modules based on perovskite semiconductors with semiconduc-tors made of copper, indium, gallium and selenium (CIGS). This combination is the key to building remarkably efficient tandem solar cells with all the advantages of thin-film technology and an efficiency factor that could top the 30-percent mark. The Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), the Schwäbisch Hall-based enterprise NICE Solar Energy, and the Centre for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research Baden-Württemberg (ZSW) have joined forces in this project with the ZSW acting as coordinator.

Press Release 111/2019
Transparent, electrically conductive, and selective to one type of charge carriers: these are the properties of hole transport layers for Perovskite solar cells. (Photo: Tobias Abzieher, KIT)Highly Efficient Solar Cells Thanks to Solid Foundation

July 17, 2019

The sun is an inexhaustible and sustainable source of energy. Hence, photovoltaics is gaining importance in German energy production. Among promising materials for solar cells – with a high efficiency and low production costs – are metal-organic Perovskites. Researchers of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) have developed a novel type of highly efficient nickel oxide hole transport layer that can be deposited on large areas and reaches record efficiencies in these solar cells.

Press Release 097/2019
Seamless integration of wireless transmission lines into glass-fiber networks results in high-performance data networks. A detailed description of the figure is given at the end of the text. (Graphics: IPQ/KIT)Technologies for the Sixth Generation Cellular Network

July 16, 2019

Future wireless data networks will have to reach higher transmission rates and shorter delays, while supplying an increasing number of end devices. For this purpose, network structures consisting of many small radio cells will be required. To connect these cells, high-performance transmission lines at high frequencies up to the terahertz range will be needed. Moreover, seamless connection to glass fiber networks must be ensured, if possible. Researchers of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) use ultra-rapid electro-optical modulators to convert terahertz data signals into optical signals. This is reported in Nature Photonics (DOI: 10.1038/s41566-019-0475-6).

Press Release 095/2019
Carbon dioxide (red-black) and hydrogen (gray) catalytically react to graphene (black) on copper-palladium surfaces. (Picture: E. Moreno-Pineda, KIT)Producing Graphene from Carbon Dioxide

July 08, 2019

The general public knows the chemical compound of carbon dioxide as a greenhouse gas in the atmosphere and because of its global-warming effect. However, carbon dioxide can also be a useful raw material for chemical reactions. A working group at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) has now reported on this unusual application in the ChemSusChem journal. They are using carbon dioxide as a raw material to produce graphene, a technological material which is currently the subject of intense study. (DOI: 10.1002/cssc.201901404)

Press Release 090/2019
The fluxonium qubit containing granular Aluminum can remain in a state between "0" and "1" for a time of up to 30 microseconds (Fig. Ioan Pop, KIT)Granular Aluminum for Future Computers

May 02, 2019

Computers based on quantum mechanical principles can solve certain tasks particularly efficiently. Their information carriers, the so-called qubits, not only have the values "0" and "1", but also states in between, called superposition states. However, maintaining such a state is difficult. Scientists at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) have now used granular aluminum (nicknamed grAl) for qubits and have shown that this superconducting material has great potential to overcome the previous limits of quantum hardware. The researchers report in the journal Nature Materials (DOI: 10.1038 / s41563-019-0350-3).

Press Release 060/2019
Wolfgang Wernsdorfer is granted the Leibniz Prize. (Photo: Sandra Göttisheim, KIT)Leibniz Prize for Wolfgang Wernsdorfer

December 06, 2018

Professor Wolfgang Wernsdorfer of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) receives the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize 2019 of the German Research Foundation (DFG). Germany’s highest science prize endowed with EUR 2.5 million honors the experimental physicist for his research into electronics, spin physics, and quantum computing.

Press Release 159/2018
To apply controlled pressure to their microscopic superconducting sample (graphics), researchers use sensitive brackets with actuators based on the piezoelectric effect. (Fig.: KIT)Science: High Pressure Orders Electrons

November 30, 2018

High-temperature superconductors can transport electrical energy without resistance. Researchers at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) have carried out high-resolution inelastic x-ray scattering and have found that high uniaxial pressure induces a long-range charge order competing with superconductivity. Their study opens up new insights into the behavior of correlated electrons. The researchers report on it in the Science journal  (DOI: 10.1126/science.aat4708).

Press Release 155/2018
Wissenschaftler des KIT gehören zu den „Highly Cited Researchers“

November 28, 2018

Dieses Jahr sind gleich acht Wissenschaftlerinnen und Wissenschaftler des KIT (darunter Annie K. Powell, Martin Wegener und Wolfgang Wernsdorfer aus dem Programm STN) unter den "Highly Cited Researchers", einer vom Medienkonzern Thomson Reuters geführten Rangliste. Sie listet die 6 000 Wissenschaftler auf, deren Publikationen am häufigsten zitiert wurden. Für die aktuelle Liste wertete Reuters Veröffentlichungen der Jahre 2006 bis 2016 aus. Eine Publikation gilt erst dann als „Highly Cited“, wenn sie in ihrem Fachgebiet und ihrem Erscheinungsjahr zu den Top 1% der Gesamtzitationen zählt.

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Nanoscribe‘s Martin Hermatschweiler (2nd from left) and Michael Thiel (2nd from right) with Minister President Winfried Kretschmann (right) and Axel Nawrath, Chairman of the Managing Board of L-Bank (left). (Photo: KD Busch/ L-Bank).Nanoscribe Wins 1st Prize at the Baden-Württemberg State Awards for Young Companies

November 09, 2018

Nanoscribe GmbH, a spin-off from Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), is the winner of the state award for young companies presented by the state of Baden-Württemberg and L-Bank. At a ceremony in the New Palace in Stuttgart, Minister President Winfried Kretschmann presented the young company with the award last night. First prize is worth 40,000 euros. A total of 375 candidates from all over Baden-Württemberg applied for the award.

Press Release 142/2018
Source: http://www.ipq.kit.edu/Nature Photonics: Silicon integration of terahertz systems

October, 2018

Scientists of IPQ and IMT have demonstrated ultra-fast silicon-plasmonic devices for generation and detection of terahertz signals. The devices can be integrated on the silicon photonic platform, bringing together photonics, electronics and terahertz technologies on a common substrate. The concept offers promising perspectives for a wide variety of applications, including high-speed communications, life sciences and industrial metrology. The publication appeared in the October issue of Nature Photonics. DOI: 10.1038/s41566-018-0237-x

Three-dimensional microstructures made of various cleavable photoresists. The scanning electron microscopies show the selective degradation of the structures (scaling 20 µm). (Photo: Nature Communications)3D Inks that Can Be Erased Selectively

August 01, 2018

3D printing by direct laser writing enables production of micro-meter-sized structures for many applications, from biomedicine to microelectronics to optical metamaterials. Researchers of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) have now developed 3D inks that can be erased selectively. This allows specific degradation and reassembly of highly precise structures on the micrometer and nanometer scales. The new photoresists are presented in the journal Nature Communications (DOI: 10.1038/s41467-018-05234-0).

Press Release 094/2018
Source: http://www.ipq.kit.edu/IPQ/IMT team receives Second Prize at the competition for the Berthold-Leibinger Innovation Prize

July 2018

The IPQ/IMT project team "DELPHI - 3D Laser Lithography for Photonic Integration" will receive the Second Prize of the renowned Berthold-Leibinger Innovation Prize. The DELPHI project group, headed by Christian Koos, was dedicated to industrial adoption of femtosecond laser lithography as a tool for 3D additive nanofabrication in integrated photonics and has led to foundation of the start-up company Vanguard Photonics GmbH. The project builds upon multi-photon lithography for fabrication of single-mode photonic waveguides and free-form micro-optical elements for efficient coupling of optical microchips. The award ceremony will take place on September 21, 2018 in Ditzingen, Germany.

The highly water-repellent surface of floating fern (salvinia) serves as a model of the AIRCOAT technology. (Photo: Schimmel Team, KIT)Air Coating Makes Ships Glide through the Water more Easily

May 02, 2018

Under the AIRCOAT project, researchers from all over Europe develop an air coating that reduces frictional resistance of ships. They use the salvinia effect studied by Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT). It allows an air layer to permanently exist under water. The European Commission funds AIRCOAT with a total of EUR 5.3 million. Of these funds, KIT receives about 1 million euros. The project is coordinated scientifically by physicist and nanotechnology expert Professor Thomas Schimmel, KIT.

Press Release 053/2018
Source: http://www.ipq.kit.edu/Nature Photonics: In situ 3D nanoprinting of free-form coupling elements for hybrid photonic integration

March 2018

Scientists of IPQ and IMT  have demonstrated microscopic beam-shaping elements that can be directly printed to the facets of optical chips or fibers by means of multi-photon lithography. The beam shaping elements comprise free-form lenses and mirrors as well as more complex multi-lens systems such as beam expanders. Facet-attached optical elements can dramatically relax alignment tolerances of optical coupling interfaces, thus paving the way to automated assembly of photonic multi-chip systems with unprecedented performance and versatility. DOI: 10.1038/s41566-018-0133-4

Setup to demonstrate ultrarapid distance measurement: The barrel of a rifle is firmly clamped and the laser beam that is invisible in the experiment is directed towards the trajectory of the projectiles fired. (Photo: Laila Tkotz, KIT)Optical Distance Measurement at Record-High Speed

February 23, 2018

Scientists of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) and École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) have demonstrated the fastest distance measurement so far. The researchers demonstrated on-the-fly sampling of a gun bullet profile with micrometer accuracy. The experiment relied on a soliton frequency comb generated in a chip-based optical microresonator made from silicon nitride. Potential applications comprise real-time 3D cameras based on highly precise and compact LIDAR systems. DOI: 10.1126/science.aao3924

Press Release 019/2018
The figure skater of only 3 mm height was printed onto the tip of a crystal. (Photo: Nanoscribe)DPG Prize for Superprecise 3D Laser Printing

February 14, 2018

Taking sharper photos with the smartphone, stimulating nerves electrically with a clamping lock, or growing cells in an optimal environment, all this is made possible by a revolutionary superprecise 3D printing process developed by researchers of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT). A manufacturing method that once was a scientific niche has quickly evolved as a business into a world market leader with revenues in the millions in a booming high-tech market. For this translation of scientific findings into economically successful and useful products, the Institute of Nanotechnology and the Innovation Management Service Unit of KIT as well as the Nanoscribe company are granted the Technology Transfer Prize by the German Physical Society (DPG).

Press Release 012/2018
Partnership to foster cooperation: President Holger Hanselka (KIT), Professor Michael Kaschke (ZEISS). Back: Vice President Thomas Hirth (KIT), Ulrich Simon (ZEISS). (Photo: KIT/Andreas Drollinger)ZEISS and KIT: Cooperation in Research, Academic Education, and Establishing Spinoffs

January 23, 2018

Digital change in work and life is one of the biggest and most pressing challenges facing our society. Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) and ZEISS are now working on shaping and advancing digitization. The industrial company and the research and education institution have decided to turn their existing, long-standing cooperation in research and academic education into a strategic partnership. Joint product development and establishment of startups will be shifted into the focus. The corresponding agreement was signed on Tuesday, January 23, 2018, in Karlsruhe.

Press Release 006/2018
Complex semiregular tessellations (right, microscopic image) are formed from a building block (left, red contours) consisting of two parts and a silver atom (blue). (Images: Klappenberger and Zhang / TUM)Complex Tessellations, Extraordinary Materials

January 23, 2018

Floor parquetings are typically found in living rooms. But microstructured parquetings, or rather tessellations, may occur in materials as well. Materials with tessellations can, for example, be characterized by an outstanding electrical conductivity, a special light reflection, or an extreme mechanical strength. Selective generation of such structures requires large molecular building blocks which mostly are not compatible with the conventional manufacturing processes. In Nature Chemistry, researchers of KIT and TUM explain how molecules form complex tessellations through self-organization.

Press Release 005/2018
Award for quicker data transmission: Christian Koos, Manfred Kohl, and Sascha Mühlbrandt of KIT. (Photo: Gips-Schüle Foundation, Thomas Niedermüller)Gips-Schüle Research Award for Ultracompact Photodetector

November 29, 2017

Researchers of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) demonstrated a novel plasmonic photodetector that is a hundred times smaller and much quicker than conventional detectors. For this, scientists Sascha Mühlbrandt, Christian Koos, and Manfred Kohl of KIT were granted this year’s Gips-Schüle Research Award in the amount of EUR 50,000 by the Gips-Schüle Foundation. Large numbers of these small components can be integrated on large-area silicon wafers, together with other optical and electronic components. In this way, capacity of future communication systems can be increased considerably.

Press Release 172/2017
Christian Koos (left) and Christian Greiner (right) are awarded ERC Consolidator Grants. (Photos: Laila Tkotz/KIT)Research into Terahertz Signals and Friction-optimized Metals

November 28, 2017

At Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Professor Christian Koos combines photonic and electronic methods to generate terahertz signals and to make them usable for data transmission and measurements. Dr. Christian Greiner studies the behavior of metals in friction contacts in order to reduce friction and wear and, thus, decrease the consumption of energy and raw materials. The European Research Council (ERC) has now decided to award Consolidator Grants to both scientists. In the next five years, their projects will be funded with about EUR 2 million each.

Press Release 171/2017
Forces from above are transmitted to the vertical ring structures via bars. The rotation of the rings exerts forces onto the corners of the horizontal planes of the cube. (T. Frenzel/KIT)Science: Metamaterial with a Twist

November 24, 2017

Using 3D printers for the microrange, researchers of KIT have succeeded in creating a metamaterial from cubic building blocks that responds to compression forces by a rotation. Usually, this can only be achieved by transmission using a crankshaft, for instance. The sophisticated design of bars and ring structures and the underlying mathematics are now presented in the latest issue of Science.

Press Release 169/2017
Upon execution of Grover’s quantum algorithm, the terbium single-molecule transistor reads out unsorted databases. (Graphics: KIT/Institut Néel)Quantum Computing with Molecules for a Quicker Search of Unsorted Databases

November 13, 2017

Scrapbooks or social networks are collections of mostly unsorted data. The search for single elements in very large data volumes, i.e. for the needle in the data haystack, is extremely complex for classical computers. Scientists of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) have now quantum mechanically implemented and successfully executed Glover’s algorithm, a process for the quick finding of a search element in unsorted databases. Their results are reported in the Physical Review Letters. DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.119.187702

Press Release 162/2017
The surface of bar-shaped ceria nanoparticles is comparable with the rock formations of Monument Valley – it has a number of edges, corners, and facets. (Photo: Alessandro Trovarelli/University of Udine)Ceria Nanoparticles: It Is the Surface that Matters

October 30, 2017

Exhaust gas cleaning of passenger cars, power generation from sunlight, or water splitting: In the future, these and other applications may profit from new findings relating to ceria. At Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), scientists have studied ceria nanoparticles with the help of probe molecules and a complex ultrahigh vacuum-infrared measurement system and obtained partly surprising new insights into their surface structure and chemical activity. Work is reported in three articles published in the journal Angewandte Chemie (applied chemistry).

Press Release 158/2017
Counterfeits and product piracy can be prevented by security features, such as printed 3D microstructures, on products or packagings. (Photo: Frederik Mayer/KIT)3D Microprinting: Security for Products, Passports, and Money

October 25, 2017

Security features are to protect bank notes, documents, and branded products against counterfeiting. Losses caused by product forgery and counterfeiting may be enormous. According to the German Engineering Association, the damage caused in 2016 in its branch alone amounted to EUR 7.3 billion. In the Advanced Materials Technologies journal, researchers of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) and the ZEISS company now propose to use printed 3D microstructures instead of 2D structures, such as holograms, to improve counterfeit protection.

Press Release 156/2017
Nanostructures of the wing of Pachliopta aristolochiae can be transferred to solar cells and enhance their absorption rates by up to 200 percent. (Graphics: Radwanul H. Siddique, KIT/Caltech)Butterfly Wing Inspires Photovoltaics: Light Absorption Can Be Enhanced by Up to 200 Percent

October 19, 2017

Sunlight reflected by solar cells is lost as unused energy. The wings of the butterfly Pachliopta aristolochiae are drilled by nanostructures (nanoholes) that help absorbing light over a wide spectrum far better than smooth surfaces. Researchers of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) have now succeeded in transferring these nanostructures to solar cells and, thus, enhancing their light absorption rate by up to 200 percent. The scientists report their results in the journal Science Advances. DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1700232.

Press Release 153/2017
Contrary to classical bits, quantum bits can assume two states at the same time: Right and left, yellow and blue, zero and one. (Photo: KIT)Quantum Simulator: First Functioning Component

October 4, 2017

Hurricanes, traffic jams, demographic development – to predict the effect of such events, computer simulations are required. Many processes in nature, however, are so complicated that conventional computers fail. Quantum simulators may solve this problem. One of the basic phenomena in nature is the interaction between light and matter in photosynthesis. Physicists of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) have now made a big step towards quantum mechanics understanding of plant metabolism. This is reported in the Nature Communications journal.

Press Release 143/2017
Gold atoms have moved into the dent produced before, refilling it almost completely. (Photo: KIT)Self-healing Gold Particles

September 14, 2017

Self-healing materials are able to repair autonomously defects, such as scratches, cracks or dents, and resume their original shape. For this purpose, they must be composed of several components whose combined properties result in the desired characteristics. Scientists of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) and the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology now discovered that also tiny particles of pure gold have surprising self-healing capacities.

Press Release 111/2017
Two Lenz lenses are arranged in a Helmholtz coil pair. Simulation shows how the Lenz lenses focus magnetic flux. (Figure: Nils Spengler/KIT)Nuclear Magnetic Resonance: High Sensitivity on Smallest Space

August 30, 2017

In many areas extending from materials sciences to medicine, nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) is used for detailed molecule-specific investigations. Scientists of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) have now succeeded in enhancing the sensitivity of NMR measurements on smallest space. For this purpose, the scientists use so-called Lenz lenses that focus magnetic flux. Among others, medical applications may benefit. The scientists present their method in the journal PLOS ONE. (doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0182779)

Press Release 117/2017
These Solar Glasses with lens-fitted semitransparent organic solar cells supply two sensors and electronics in the temples with electric power. (Photo: KIT)Solar Glasses Generate Solar Power

July 6, 2017

Organic solar cells are flexible, transparent, and light-weight – and can be manufactured in arbitrary shapes or colors. Thus, they are suitable for a variety of applications that cannot be realized with conventional silicon solar cells. In the Energy Technology journal, researchers from KIT now present sunglasses with colored, semitransparent solar cells applied onto lenses that supply a microprocessor and two displays with electric power. This paves the way for other future applications such as the integration of organic solar cells into windows or overhead glazing.

Press Release 093/2017
Soliton frequency combs, generated in silicon nitride microresonators, are used for massively parallel data transmission via various frequency channels (Photo: J. N. Kemal/ P. Marin-Palomo/ KIT)Nature: Optical Communication at Record-High Speed

June 8, 2017

Researchers at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) and École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) have set a new record for optical data transmission: As reported in Nature, the team exploits optical solitons circulating in silicon nitride microresonators to generate broadband optical frequency combs. Two such superimposed frequency combs enable massive parallel data transmission on 179 wavelength channels at a data rate of more than 50 terabits per second. (DOI: 10.1038/nature22387).

Press Release 074/2017
Australian Laureate Fellow 2017: Professor Christopher Barner-Kowollik (Photo: Irina Westermann)Light-Driven Customization of High-Tech Materials

June 7, 2017

Touching up scratches in car paint with laser technology, using light to make sensitive electronic parts more flexible or harder: These are the solutions Professor Christopher Barner-Kowollik is working on at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) and at the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) in Brisbane, Australia. His research on novel ways to precisely adapt coatings and materials for different applications using spectrally pure light from lasers, is now also the focus of a project funded by the Australian Research Council with more than AUD three million (more than EUR two million).

Press Release 073/2017
3-dimensional microstructures can be written using a laser, erased, and rewritten. (Photo: KIT)Erasable Ink for 3D Printing

April 24, 2017

3D printing by direct laser writing produces micrometer-sized structures with precisely defined properties. Researchers of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) have now developed a method to erase the ink used for 3D printing. In this way, the small structures of up to 100 nm in size can be erased and rewritten repeatedly. One nanometer corresponds to one millionth of a millimeter. This development opens up many new applications of 3D fabrication in biology or materials sciences, for instance.

Press Release 050/2017
Stripes of nanostructures in perovskite solar cells can be detected by means of a type of scanning force microscopy (shown schematically). (Figure: Holger Röhm, Tobias Leonhard/KIT)Solar Cells with Nanostripes

April 12, 2017

Solar cells based on perovskites reach high efficiencies: They convert more than 20 percent of the incident light directly into usable power. On their search for underlying physical mechanisms, researchers of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) have now detected strips of nanostructures with alternating directions of polarization in the perovskite layers. These structures might serve as transport paths for charge carriers. This is reported in the Energy & Environmental Science Journal. (DOI: 10.1039/c7ee00420f)

Press Release 048/2017
Wolfgang Wernsdorfer is Humboldt Professor at KIT. (Photo: Sandra Göttisheim, KIT)Optics Advance Quantum Information Processing

April 7, 2017

Experimental physicist Professor Wolfgang Wernsdorfer of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) was selected by the European Research Council for funding with an ERC Advanced Grant for his project “Molecular Quantum Opto-Spintronics” (MoQuOS). MoQuOS covers optical manipulation and characterization of molecular quantum bits. Within the framework of MoQuOS, Wernsdorfer, who has been holding an Alexander von Humboldt professorship since 2016, plans to develop together with his team rapid and reliable methods to read out spin states of individual magnetic molecules for quantum information processing.

Press Release 047/2017
Prof. Jan G. KorvinkProf. Korvink in den Vorstand von microTEC Südwest gewählt

[DE] Am 27. März 2017 wurde Prof. Jan G. Korvink vom Karlsruher Institut für Technologie (KIT) in den Vorstand von microTEC Südwest e.V. gewählt. Er ist Nachfolger von Prof. Volker Saile (ebenfalls KIT), der aus Altersgründen ausscheidet.

The molecular contact can be switched on and off mechanically and electrostatically. (Photo: KIT)Reliable Molecular Toggle Switch Developed

March 9, 2017

Nanotechnology constantly allows for new records in miniaturization. Reduction of the dimension of electronic components, however, has physical limits that will be reached soon. Novel materials and components are required. This is where molecular electronics comes in. Scientists of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) have now succeeded in developing a molecular toggle switch that does not only remain in the position selected, but can also be flipped as often as desired. This is reported in Nature Communications. 

Press Release 031/2017
The metal-organic framework is set up like a sandwich (a). The molecular textile layer is woven in an active layer that is embedded between so-called sacrificial layers (b). (Image: KIT)Metal-organic Frameworks Used as Looms

February 15, 2017

Researchers of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) have made major progress in the production of two-dimensional polymer-based materials. To produce cloths from monomolecular threads, the scientists used SURMOFs, i.e. surface-mounted metal-organic frameworks, developed by KIT. They inserted four-armed monomers, i.e. smaller molecular building blocks, into some SURMOF layers. Cross-linking of the monomers then resulted in textiles consisting of interwoven polymer threads. This work is now presented in Nature Communications. (DOI: 10.1038/ncomms14442)

Press Release 020/2017
Microscopic components made of silicon (blue) and special polymers (green) convert electrical into optical signals and vice versa. (Graphics: KIT)Turning Research into Innovations

February 1, 2017

The European Research Council (ERC) has decided to fund two innovative ideas of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT). For their first steps from fundamental research to commerciali-zation, these projects are now granted about EUR 150,000 each. The so-called “Proof of Concept Grants” serve to further de-velop application-relevant research findings for the market. The KIT projects funded by the ERC cover the analysis of biological samples and data transmission by light.

Press Release 013/2017
A cancer cell under the microscope: The STED image (left) has a background of low resolution. In the STEDD image (right), background suppression results in much better visible structures. (Image: APH/KIT)Background Suppression for Super-resolution Light Microscopy

January 31, 2017

Researchers of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) have developed a new fluorescence microscopy method: STEDD (Stimulation Emission Double Depletion) nanoscopy produces images of highest resolution with suppressed background. The new method yields an enhanced image quality, which is advantageous when analyzing three-dimensional, densely arranged subcellular structures. STEDD, a further development of the STED method, is now presented in Nature Photonics. (DOI: 10.1038/NPHOTON.2016.279)

Press Release 012/2017
Karsten Woll ist Leiter der Nachwuchsgruppe. (Foto: privat)[DE] Materialforschung: Neue Emmy Noether-Nachwuchsgruppe

January 24, 2017

[DE] Hohe Festigkeit und hohe Verformbarkeit von Metallen schließen sich in der Regel aus. Diese Eigenschaften in neuen nanostrukturierten metallischen Werkstoffen zu vereinen, ist das Ziel einer neuen Emmy-Noether-Nachwuchsgruppe am KIT, die nun von der Deutschen Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) über fünf Jahre mit insgesamt 1,4 Millionen Euro gefördert wird. „Wir wollen metallische Dünnschichten als nanostrukturierte Verbundwerkstoffe mit maßgeschneiderten mechanischen Eigenschaften entwickeln“, erklärt Karsten Woll vom Institut für Angewandte Materialien des KIT und Leiter der Emmy-Noether-Nachwuchsgruppe „Gepulste Metallurgie an metallischen Dünnschichten“.

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The ring structure of the metamaterial was inspired by mail armor of medieval knights. (Photo: KIT)Metamaterial: Mail Armor Inspires Physicists

January 19, 2017

The Middle Ages certainly were far from being science-friendly: Whoever looked for new findings off the beaten track faced the threat of being burned at the stake. Hence, the contribution of this era to technical progress is deemed to be rather small. Scientists of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), however, were inspired by medieval mail armor when producing a new metamaterial with novel properties. They succeeded in reversing the Hall coefficient of a material.

Press Release 006/2017
The blue tarantula (Poecilotheria metallica) inspired researchers to produce non-iridescent structural colors. (Photo: Tom Patterson)Dressing up like a Peacock: Bright Colors by Nanotechnology

October 19, 2016

Colors are produced in a variety of ways. The best known colors are pigments. However, the very bright colors of the blue tarantula or peacock feathers do not result from pigments, but from nanostructures that cause the reflected light waves to overlap. This produces extraordinarily dynamic color effects. Scientists from Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), in cooperation with international colleagues, have now succeeded in replicating nanostructures that generate the same color irrespective of the viewing angle. DOI: 10.1002/adom.201600599

Press Release 144/2016
Carbon tube (center) as a photon source and superconducting nanowires as receivers constitute part of the optical chip (Photo: W.Pernice/WWU)First Quantum Photonic Circuit with an Electrically Driven Light Source

September 27, 2016

Whether for use in safe data encryption, ultrafast calculation of huge data volumes or so-called quantum simulation of highly complex systems: Optical quantum computers are a source of hope for tomorrow’s computer technology. For the first time, scientists now have succeeded in placing a complete quantum optical structure on a chip, as outlined in the “Nature Photonics” journal. This fulfills one condition for the use of photonic circuits in optical quantum computers. (DOI: 10.1038/nphoton.2016.178)

Press Release 132/2016
Three-dimensional microscaffolds for the cultivation of individual cells (actin colored green), which were functionalized specifically with two different proteins (red, magenta) by photochemical processes. (Photo: Benjamin Richter/KIT)Specifically Designed Petri Dishes: Three KIT Scientists Receive Erwin Schrödinger Prize

September 23, 2016

Three-dimensional printing is increasingly applied worldwide, like in toy and automotive industries. In micro- and nanoranges, use of the process for the artificial production of biological tissue (tissue engineering) might result in new findings, as it is the case for specifically designed 3D petri dishes. Three scientists of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) developed a method to produce flexible, three-dimensional microscaffolds for cultivating cells under suitable conditions and to conduct corresponding research. For this, they are now granted the Erwin Schrödinger Prize by the Helmholtz Association of German Research Centers.

Press Release 130/2016
Outer skin (left) and vascular bundles (right) of dragon tree branch-stem attachments in the loaded (yellow) and unloaded (red) state. (Photo: Hesse/University of Freiburg)Deriving Inspiration from the Dragon Tree

September 8, 2016

Could dragon trees serve as a source of inspiration for innovations in lightweight construction? A team of researchers at the University of Freiburg and the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) has laid the groundwork for designing technical fiber-reinforced lightweight ramifications modeled on branch–stem attachments. With the help of high-resolution magnetic resonance imaging techniques, the scientists succeeded in observing how the tissue of a living dragon tree is displaced when subjected to a load. In the future, technical fiber-reinforced lightweight ramifications with structures and behavior similar to that of the natural model could be used to improve architectural supporting structures, bicycle frames, or automobile bodies. The team published the findings in the journal Scientific Reports.

Press Release 124/2016
Thanks to fine hairs on the leaf surface, the salvinia water fern can absorb and bind mineral oil from water surfaces. (Photo: C. Zeiger/KIT)Nanofur for Oil Spill Cleanup

August 18, 2016

Some water ferns can absorb large volumes of oil within a short time, because their leaves are strongly water-repellent and, at the same time, highly oil-absorbing. Researchers of KIT, together with colleagues of Bonn University, have found that the oil-binding capacity of the water plant results from the hairy microstructure of its leaves. It is now used as a model to further develop the new Nanofur material for the environmentally friendly cleanup of oil spills. (DOI: 10.1088/1748-3190/11/5/056003)

Press Release 115/2016
The mechanical properties of the carbon nanotube (black) cause the spin (orange) of a molecule (green and red) to flip over. (Illustration: Christian Grupe/KIT)What Makes the Spin Flip Over?

June 2, 2016

The Einstein-de-Haas effect shows that magnetism results from the angular momentum of electrons and is considered as the macroscopic evidence of electron spin. Researchers at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) and at the Institut NÉEL at the CNRS in Grenoble were the first to investigate this effect for an individual spin and formulated it as the new “Quantum Einstein-de-Haas effect”. In the Nature Communications scientific journal (DOI: 10.1038/ncomms11443), they report on their work.

Press Release 083/2016
Wolfgang Wernsdorfer. (Photo: Humboldt-Stiftung/Wolfgang Hemmann)KIT Brings Outstanding Experimental Physicist Back to Germany

May 4, 2016

Germany’s award in the highest amount for researchers from abroad was handed over to Professor Wolfgang Wernsdorfer yesterday evening (May 03) in Berlin. The pioneer of molecular spin electronics will now return from France to Germany: From June 01, 2016, Wernsdorfer will continue his research for the development of future quantum computers at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT). The research award in the amount of EUR 5 million was handed over by the State Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, Cornelia Quennet-Thielen, and the President of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, Professor Helmut Schwarz.

Press Release 070/2016
Carbon nanotube above a photonic crystal waveguide with electrodes. The structure converts electric signals into light. (Photo: WWU)Nature Photonics: Light Source for Quicker Computer Chips

April 19, 2016

Worldwide growing data volumes make conventional electronic processing reach its limits. Future information technology is therefore expected to use light as a medium for quick data transmission also within computer chips. Researchers under the direction of KIT have now demonstrated that carbon nanotubes are suited for use as on-chip light source for tomorrow’s information technology, when nanostructured waveguides are applied to obtain the desired light properties. The scientists now present their results in Nature Photonics. DOI: 10.1038/NPHOTON. 2016.70

Press Release 059/2016
Organic laser on a silicon photonic chip: Optical excitation from above generates laser light in the waveguide. (Graphics: KIT)Nature Communications: Laser Source for Biosensors

March 7, 2016

In the area of nano photonics, scientists for the first time succeeded in integrating a laser with an organic gain medium on a silicon photonic chip. This approach is of enormous potential for low-cost biosensors that might be used for near-patient diagnosis once and without any sterilization expenditure similar to today’s strips for measuring blood sugar. The researchers now present the new laser in Nature Communications: DOI: 10.1038/ncomms10864

Press Release 034/2016
The smallest lattice in the world is visible under the microscope only. Struts and braces are 0.2 µm in diameter. Total size of the lattice is about 10 µm. (Photo: J. Bauer / KIT)Nature Materials: Smallest Lattice Structure Worldwide

February 2, 2016

KIT scientists now present the smallest lattice structure made by man in the Nature Materials journal. Its struts and braces are made of glassy carbon and are less than 1 µm long and 200 nm in diameter. They are smaller than comparable metamaterials by a factor of 5. The small dimension results in so far unreached ratios of strength to density. Applications as electrodes, filters or optical components might be possible. (DOI: 10.1038/nmat4561)

Press Release 015/2016
Channels or other flow structures inside of compact microreactors optimize mixing of chemicals and heat removal during processes. (Photo: IMVT/KIT)Chemistry: Efficient Processes in Smallest Systems

January 26, 2016

The German Research Foundation (DFG) funds a new research group at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) and the University of Freiburg: “Acquisition and control of dynamic local process states in microreactors by latest in-situ sensors”, briefly called ProMiSe. Scientists are to develop electronic and optical microsensors and measurement technologies to better understand chemical and physical processes in microstructured process technology systems, to reduce the costs of these processes, and to make them more energy-efficient.

Press Release 012/2016
Step by step towards the complete shell: Formation of a metal cluster from the atomic constituents to the compound. (Photo: Dehnen Group, Philipps-Universität Marburg)Nature Communications: How Metal Clusters Grow

January 25, 2016

First the nucleus, then the shell: Researchers from Marburg and Karlsruhe have studied stepwise formation of metal clusters, smallest fractions of metals in molecular form. The shell gradually forms around the inner atom rather than by later inclusion of the central atom. Knowledge of all development steps may allow for customized optoelectronic and magnetic properties, as is reported by the researchers in the science journal “Nature Communications”. (DOI: 10.1038/NCOMMS10480)

Press Release 010/2016
The new production process for organic solar cells was developed by Stefan Gärtner (left) and Alexander Colsmann (right), KIT, in cooperation with an industry partner. (Photo: Markus Breig, KIT)Gips-Schüle Research Award for Environmentally Friendly Production of Organic Solar Cells

November 24, 2015

The 2015 Gips-Schüle Research Award in the amount of EUR 50,000 goes to the research project “Nanoparticles for the Environmentally Compatible Production of Organic Solar Cells” of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) in cooperation with MJR PharmJet GmbH. The project in which engineers, physicists, chemists, and biologists cooperate is aimed at developing low-cost methods for the production of new solar cells without any solvents that are harmful to human health.

Press Release 145/2015
By intercalation of lithium ions into certain magnets and de-intercalation, their mag-netism can be controlled specifically. (Graphics: KIT/Wiley-VCH)Chemistry Controls Magnetism

October 9, 2015

Magnets are well-known from the physics lessons at school, but they are hardly covered in chemistry lectures; and it is still a chemical process by means of which researchers at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) have succeeded in controlling magnetic properties in bulk ferromagnets. While physical processes may influence the orientation of the magnetic fields, the chemical process in this case controls magnetism in carefully chosen strongly ferromagnetic material systems. The working principle used in this case is similar to the concept of lithium-ion batteries. (DOI: 10.002/adma-201305932)

Press Release 116/2015
A special invisibility cloak (right) guides sunlight past the contacts for current removal to the active surface area of the solar cell. (Graphics: Martin Schumann, KIT)Invisibility Cloak Might Enhance Efficiency of Solar Cells

September 25, 2015

Success of the energy turnaround will depend decisively on the extended use of renewable energy sources. However, their efficiency partly is much smaller than that of conventional energy sources. The efficiency of commercially available photovoltaic cells, for instance, is about 20%. Scientists of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) have now published an unconventional approach to increasing the efficiency of the panels. Optical invisibility cloaks guide sunlight around objects that cast a shadow on the solar panel, such as contacts for current extraction. DOI: 10.1364/OPTICA.2.000850.

Press Release 110/2015
All-optical data memory: Ultra-short light pulses make the GST material change from crystalline to amorphous and back. Weak light pulses read out the data. (Photo: C. Rios/Oxford University)Permanent Data Storage with Light

September 22, 2015

The first all-optical permanent on-chip memory has been developed by scientists of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) and the universities of Münster, Oxford, and Exeter. This is an important step on the way towards optical computers. Phase change materials that change their optical properties depending on the arrangement of the atoms allow for the storage of several bits in a single cell. The researchers present their development in the journal Nature Photonics (10.1038/nphoton.2015.182).

Press Release 108/2015
Prof. Herbert Gleiter[German] Cothenius-Medaille für Herbert Gleiter

September 7, 2015

Die Nationale Akademie der Wissenschaften Leopoldina zeichnet Professor Herbert Gleiter mit der Cothenius-Medaille für sein wissenschaftliches Lebenswerk aus. Die Auszeichnung wird im Rahmen der feierlichen Eröffnung der Leopoldina-Jahresversammlung am Freitag, 18. September 2015, in Halle (Saale) verliehen.

Prof. Dr. Herbert Gleiter ist ein renommierter Materialwissenschaftler und gilt er als einer der Begründer der modernen Nanotechnologie. Die Forschungsgruppe um Herbert Gleiter eröffnete Ende der 1970er-Jahre mit der Entwicklung „Nanokristalliner Materialien“ den Weg zu einem neuen Gebiet der Materialwissenschaften. In jüngerer Zeit wurde dieses Gebiet von Herbert Gleiter auf nanoskalige Materialien mit nichtkristalliner Struktur, heute als Nanogläser bezeichnet, erweitert. Gleiters aktuelle Arbeiten konzentrieren sich – zusätzlich zu den Nanoglasuntersuchungen – auf die Anwendung der Nanotechnologie, um die Grenzen der Quantenphysik in Systemen makroskopischer Größe zu erforschen.

KIT News
So-called eye diagrams serve to check the quality of electro-optical modulators. (Picture: C. Haffner/ETH)NATURE: Compact Optical Data Transmission

July 28, 2015

Compact optical transmission possibilities are of great interest in faster and more energy-efficient data exchange between electronic chips. One component serving this application is the Mach-Zehnder modulator (MZM) which is able to convert electronic signals into optical signals. Scientists of the KIT and the ETH in Zurich developed a plasmonic MZM of only 12.5 micrometers length which converts digital electrical signals into optical signals at a rate of up to 108 gigabit per second, and presented this device in the “Nature Photonics” scientific journal. (DOI 10.1038/nphoton.2015.127).

Press Release 085/2015
The magnetic moments of the three organic molecules and the cobalt surface align very stably relative to each other. (Photo: M. Gruber, KIT)Spintronics: Molecules Stabilizing Magnetism

July 21, 2015

Organic molecules allow producing printable electronics and solar cells with extraordinary properties. In spintronics, too, molecules open up the unexpected possibility of controlling the magnetism of materials and, thus, the spin of the flowing electrons. According to what is reported in Nature Materials by a German-French team of researchers, a thin layer of organic molecules can stabilize the magnetic orientation of a cobalt surface. (DOI: 10.1038/NMAT4361)

Press Release 082/2015
Contrary to other transparent surfaces, the wings of the glasswing butterfly (Greta Oto) hardly reflect any light. Lenses or displays of mobiles might profit from the investigation of this phenomenon. (Photo: Radwanul Hasan Siddique, KIT)Nature: Low-reflection Wings Make Butterflies Nearly Invisible

April 22, 2015

Irregular Nanostructures on the Transparent Wing of the Glasswing Butterfly Prevent the Reflection of Light – Publication in Nature Communications – Researchers Plan Applications

Dr. Anna BöhmerDr. Anna Böhmer has been awarded a Helmholtz research grant

January 2015

The Helmholtz Association (HGF) has awarded 19 recently qualified scientists a grant in the Postdoc programme. Dr. Anna Böhmer, of the Institute of Solid State Physics (IFP), who carried out her PhD with the Topic 1 of the Programme STN is the sole candidate from KIT to achieve this distinction.

The novel material “fluoropore” repels water (left) and oil (right). These droplets do not adhere to or wet the surface. (Photo: KIT/Rapp) New Material Makes Water and Oil Roll off

November 4, 2014

Car finish, to which no dirt particles adhere, house fronts, from which graffiti paints roll off, and shoes that remain clean on muddy paths – the material “fluoropore” might make all this possible. Both water and oil droplets roll off this new class of highly fluorinated super-repellent polymers. The Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) has now decided to fund its further development at the KIT with EUR 2.85 million. Fundamental research in this area is aimed among others at making use of this new type of material for universal protective coatings.

Press Release 147/2014
Ceremony of key handover for the new building of Helmholtz Institute Ulm (Photo: Elvira Eberhardt, University Ulm)New Research Building for the Helmholtz Institute Ulm

October 31, 2014

Opening Ceremony in the Presence of the Federal Minister of Research Wanka and State Minister of Research Bauer

At the Helmholtz Institute Ulm for Electrochemical Energy Storage (HIU), scientists conduct research into efficient battery systems and new materials for future batteries to be used for the Energiewende. To offer the researchers optimal prerequisites for their work, the State of Baden-Württemberg erected a new building with modern laboratory equipment in Ulm. The building with a funding volume of EUR 12 million has an area of 2400 m2 accommodating laboratories and offices. As the HIU is a Helmholtz institution, its operation is funded by the Federation and the State of Baden-Württemberg at a ratio of 90 to 10.

Press Release 145/2014
Christian Koos is awarded this year’s State Prize for Applied Research (photo: Markus Breig, KIT).2014 State Research Prize Awarded to Christian Koos

October 29, 2014

Professor Christian Koos of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) is awarded this year’s Baden-Württemberg State Prize for Applied Research. Minister for Science, Research, and Art, Theresia Bauer, made the announcement in Stuttgart today. Koos conducts research on nanophotonic components and novel techniques of optical high-speed communication. Together with colleagues of the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) he and his team succeeded in transmitting a data stream of 1.44 terabit per second – corresponding to the data volume of more than 100 million telephone calls – using a miniaturized frequency comb as an optical source.

Press Release 143/2014
Mechanical invisibility cloak: Metamaterials protect objects on the lower side from touching. (Photo: T: Bückmann / KIT)Elastic Invisibility Cloak Allows to Hide from Touching

June 19, 2014

In the past years, invisibility cloaks were developed for various senses. Objects can be hidden from light, heat or sound. However, hiding of an object from being touched still remained to be accomplished. KIT scientists have now succeeded in creating a volume in which an object can be hidden from touching similar to a pea under the mattress of a princess. The results are now presented in the renowned Nature Communications journal. (DOI: 10.1038/ncomms5130)

Press Release 086/2014
In a diffusive light-scattering medium, light moves on random paths (see magnifying glass). A normal object (left) casts a shadow, an object with an invisibility cloak (right) does not. (Image: R. Schittny / KIT)KIT Researchers Build Optical Invisibility Cloak for a Diffusive Medium

June 6, 2014

Real invisibility cloaks are rather complex and work in certain situations only. The laws of physics prevent an optical invisibility cloak from making objects in air invisible for any directions, colors, and polarizations. If the medium is changed, however, it becomes much easier to hide objects. KIT physicists have now succeeded in manufacturing with relatively simple means and testing an ideal invisibility cloak for diffusive light-scattering media, such as fog or milk. Their results are published in the renowned Science journal. (DOI: 10.1126/science.1254524)

Press Release 076/2014
Microhairs similar to the gecko’s setae before and after cleaning through lateral friction contact with a smooth surface. (Photograph with scanning electron microscope: Michael Röhrig, KIT)Gecko-inspired Adhesion: Self-cleaning and Reliable

February 19, 2014

Geckos outclass adhesive tapes in one respect: Even after repeated contact with dirt and dust do their feet perfectly adhere to smooth surfaces. Researchers of the KIT and the Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, have now developed the first adhesive tape that does not only adhere to a surface as reliably as the toes of a gecko, but also possesses similar self-cleaning properties. Using such a tape, food packagings or bandages might be opened and closed several times. The results are published in the “Interface“ journal of the British Royal Society. DOI: rsif.2013.1205

Press Release 024/2014
Auf eine Lichtwelle (o .li.) prägt der Wandler (gelb) aufgrund der angelegten Spannung digitale Bits auf (u. re.). So werden elektrische zu optischen Signalen. (Grafik: A. Melikyan/KIT) Nature: Ultra-small and Ultra–fast Electro-optic Modulator

February 17, 2014

Thanks to optical signals, mails and data can be transmitted rapidly around the globe. But also exchange of digital information between electronic chips may be accelerated and energy efficiency might be increased by using optical signals. However, this would require simple methods to switch from electrical to optical signals. In the Nature Photonics magazine, researchers now present a device of 29 µm in length, which converts signals at a rate of about 40 gigabits per second. It is the most compact high-speed phase modulator in the world. DOI: 10.1038/NPHOTON.2014.9

Press Release 023/2014
Wilhelm Pfleging (right) and Johannes Pröll (left). Authors also include Robert Kohler (KIT).KIT Laser Group Wins SPIE 2014 Green Photonics Award

February 14, 2014

The 2014 Green Photonics Award in Laser-assisted Manufacturing and Micro/Nano Fabrication (LASE conference 8968) was awarded to the KIT laser group for "Laser generated microstructures in tape cast electrodes for rapid electrolyte wetting: new technical approach for cost efficient battery manufacturing".

The Prism Award 2014 is awarded to Dr. Michael Thiel, Martin Hermatschweiler, Prof. Martin Wegener, and Dr. Wanyin Cui (from left to right, Nanoscribe)KIT Spinoff Wins ”Prism Award 2014“

February 6, 2014

Nanoscribe GmbH, a spinoff of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), has won the renowned Prism Award 2014. It is granted annually by the International Society for Optics and Photonics SPIE for outstanding innovations in photonics. Nanoscribe has been granted the award for a printer based on 3D laser lithography.

Press Release 017/2014
The scanning tunneling microscope makes single holmium atoms on a platinum surface visible. (Photo: KIT/T. Miyamachi)Nature: Single-atom Bit Forms Smallest Memory in the World

November 13, 2013

Control of the Magnetic Moment of Single Atoms Is the Key to Compact Data Memories and Quantum Computers

Professor Oliver Kraft, Director of the KIT Institute for Applied Materials (IAM). (Photo: Markus Breig/KIT)Oliver Kraft Is Elected President of the Materials Research Society

October 28, 2013

For the first time during the 40 years of its existence, the renowned Materials Research Society (MRS) has elected a non-American as its president: The KIT materials researcher Professor Oliver Kraft will be Vice President of the MRS in 2014 and MRS President in 2015. At KIT, Oliver Kraft is Director of the Institute for Applied Materials (IAM) and holds the Robert Bosch Professorship for Nanostructured Functional Materials.

Press Release 135/2013
By means of lipid dip-pen nanolithography (L-DPN), lipid membranes are written directly onto the two-dimensional carbon graphene. (Graphics: Hirtz/Nature Communications)Nanoscaled Tip Writes Artificial Cell Membranes

October 10, 2013

Researchers around Dr. Michael Hirtz from Karlsruhe Institute of Technology and Dr. Aravind Vijayaraghavan from the University of Manchester have developed a new method to produce artificial membranes: Using a nanoscaled tip, they write tailored patches of phospholipid membrane onto a graphene substrate. The resulting biomimetic membranes, i.e. membranes simulating biological structures, allow for the specific investigation of functions of cell membranes and the development of novel applications in medicine and biotechnology, such as biosensors.

Press Release 127/2013
Lipid Membranes on GrapheneLipid Membranes on Graphene

October 2013

The application of graphene in sensor devices depends on the ability to appropriately functionalize the pristine graphene. Here we show the direct writing of tailored phospholipid membranes on graphene using dip-pen nanolithography. Phospholipids exhibit higher mobility on graphene compared with the commonly used silicon dioxide substrate, leading to well-spread uniform membranes. Dip-pen nanolithography allows for multiplexed assembly of phospholipid membranes of different functionalities in close proximity to each other.

OLED emit homogeneous planar light and may be applied to flexible carrier materials. (Photo: Ralph Eckstein)OLED – Light-emitting Flexible Surfaces

September 4, 2013

The “cyFLEX” project is aimed at adapting materials for organic light-emitting diodes (OLED) to printing and coating processes. Printed OLED might be used for future production of luminous packagings, labels, and billboards. cyFLEX is carried out by the Light Technology Institute (LTI) of KIT in cooperation with cynora GmbH and covers the complete chain of values added from the material to the component.

Press Release 112/2013
Nature: Watching Molecule Movements in Live CellsNature: Watching Molecule Movements in Live Cells

July 23, 2013

The newly developed STED-RICS microscopy method records rapid movements of molecules in live samples. By combining raster image correlation spectroscopy (RICS) with STED fluorescence microscopy, researchers of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) opened up new applications in medical research, e.g. analyzing the dynamics of cell membranes at high protein concentrations. This method is now presented in Nature Communications (doi: 10.1038/ncomms3093).

Press Release 099/2013
Nature: Elementary Physics in a Single MoleculeNature: Elementary Physics in a Single Molecule

July 17, 2013

A team of physicists has succeeded in performing an extraordinary experiment: They demonstrated how magnetism that generally manifests itself by a force between two magnetized objects acts within a single molecule. This discovery is of high significance to fundamental research and provides scientists with a new tool to better understand magnetism as an elementary phenomenon of physics. The researchers published their results in the latest issue of Nature Nanotechnology (doi: 10.1038/nnano.2013.133).

Press Release 096/2013
The Smallest Puzzle in the WorldThe Smallest Puzzle in the World

July 8, 2013

Three pieces of less than 1 mm in size each may be put together to the probably smallest puzzle in the world. For production, researchers used LIGA2.X, a new process to manufacture microstructured casting molds at KIT’s ANKA synchrotron source. Inexpensive series production is combined with highest precision on the microscale to produce e.g. components in watches, engines, or medical products. Now, large series of smallest parts can be injection-molded with highest accuracy.

Press Release 091/2013

May 14, 2013

The Helmholtz Programme NANOMICRO has a new name: Science and Technology of Nanosystems (STN). The increasing miniaturization and progress in integrating results of nanoscience and nanotechnology into nanoscale systems observed in recent years will be strategically focused to support the implementation of upcoming scientific results into applications relevant to societal needs.

A new structure of programme topics is currently being prepared and will come into effect in the funding period 2015-2019. The core concept behind programme-oriented funding of the Helmholtz Association is the strategic financing of research based on competitive reviews. The next review for STN will be in early 2014.

Researchers Construct Invisibility Cloak for Thermal FlowResearchers Construct Invisibility Cloak for Thermal Flow

May 8, 2013

By means of special metamaterials, light and sound can be passed around objects. KIT researchers now succeeded in demonstrating that the same materials can also be used to specifically influence the propagation of heat. A structured plate of copper and silicone conducts heat around a central area without the edge being affected.

Press Release 057/2013
Two parallel free-standing waveguides made of polycrystalline diamond serve as mechanical resonators. Optical fields (red/blue) are observed to propagate inside of them. (KIT/CFN/Pernice)Diamond as a Building Material for Optical Circuits

April 10, 2013

The application of light for information processing opens up a multitude of possibilities. However, to be able to adequately use photons in circuits and sensors, materials need to have particular optical and mechanical properties. Researchers at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) have now for the first time used polycrystalline diamond to manufacture optical circuits and have published their results online in Nature Communications (DOI: 10.1038/ncomms2710).

Press Release 047/2013
Graphite consists of layered carbon atoms. A metal particle bores into the graphite sample from the edges of these layers.Nanoparticles Digging the World’s Smallest Tunnels

23 January 2013

The world’s smallest tunnels have a width of a few nanometers only. Researchers from Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) and Rice University, USA, have dug such tunnels into graphite samples. This will allow structuring of the interior of materials through self-organization in the nanometer range and tailoring of nanoporous graphite for applications in medicine and battery technology. Results are now presented in the scientific journal Nature Communications (DOI: 10.1038/ncomms2399).

Press Release 013/2013
The single-photon detector is characterized by five convincing factors: 91% detection efficiency; direct integration on chip; counting rates on a Gigahertz scale; high timing resolution and negligible dark counting rates. Source: KIT/CFN.Emmy Noether Research Group Leader Wolfram Pernice Achieves Breakthrough at KIT in Building an Efficient Single-photon Detector

21 January 2013

Ultrafast, efficient, and reliable single-photon detectors are among the most sought-after components in photonics and quantum communication, which have not yet reached maturity for practical application. Physicist Dr. Wolfram Pernice of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), in cooperation with colleagues at Yale University, Boston University, and Moscow State Pedagogical University, achieved the decisive breakthrough by integrating single-photon detectors with nanophotonic chips. The detector combines near-unity detection efficiency with high timing resolution and has a very low error rate. The results have been published by Nature Communications (doi:10.1038/ncomms2307).

Press Release 011/2013
The single-photon detector is characterized by five convincing factors: 91% detection efficiency; direct integration on chip; counting rates on a Gigahertz scale; high timing resolution and negligible dark counting rates. Source: KIT/CFN.Quantum Communication: Each Photon Counts

January 21, 2013

Emmy Noether Research Group Leader Wolfram Pernice Achieves Breakthrough at KIT in Building an Efficient Single-photon Detector

Structure of SURMOF 2 metal-organic frameworks: The pore size may reach up to three times three nanometers. (Figure: Dr. Jinxuan Liu, IFG)KIT Researchers Develop New Method to Produce Metal-organic Frameworks

5 December 2012

Researchers of the KIT Institute of Functional Interfaces (IFG), Jacobs University Bremen, and other institutions have developed a new method to produce metal-organic frameworks (MOFs). By means of the so-called liquid-phase epitaxy, the scientists succeeded in producing a new class of MOFs with a pore size never reached before. These frameworks open up interesting applications in medicine, optics, and photonics. The new class of MOFs, called “SURMOF 2”, is presented in the “Nature Scientific Reports” journal.

Press Release 188/2012
Schematic representation of a field effect transistor (FET) made of printed inorganic oxide nanoparticles connected with printable composite solid polymer electrolytes as an insulator of the gate electrode. (Figure: KIT, Christian Gruppe) Quick Transistors from the Printer

September 27, 2012

Scientists of the KIT Institute of Nanotechnology (INT) have achieved major progress in printed electronics: They demonstrated that highly mobile field effect transistors (FET) can be made of printed inorganic oxide nanoparticles. These are combined with printable composite solid polymer electrolytes as an insulator of the gate electrode.

Photonic Wire Bond Transmits Data in the Terabit RangeOptical Waveguide Connects Semiconductor Chips

17 September 2012

A team of KIT researchers directed by Professor Christian Koos has succeeded in developing a novel optical connection between semiconductor chips. “Photonic wire bonding” reaches data transmission rates in the range of several terabits per second and is suited perfectly for production on the industrial scale. In the future, this technology may be used in high-performance emitter-receiver systems for optical data transmission and, thus, contribute to reducing energy consumption of the internet. The scientists published their results in the journal “Optics Express“.

Press Release 140/2012
TbPc2 molecule quantum-bit device. Electrons (red) from the electrodes jump onto the molecule reading out the electronic spin (orange) and the nuclear spin (green) (Graphics: C. Grupe, KIT)Nature: Electronic Read-out of Quantum Bits

August 16, 2012

Quantum State of a Single Atomic Nucleus Can Be Controlled and Determined by Simple Electrodes / Basis of Quantum Computers and Nano Spintronics

An optical microcavity consists of two semi-transparent metal mirrors, whose distance determines the color of the light generated by graphene. (Figure: KIT)Play of Colors with Graphene

June 20, 2012

Researchers Succeeded in Coupling a Layer of Carbon Atoms to an Optical Cavity and Making It Emit Light – KIT Scientists Participate in the Project

Pentamode metamaterials almost behave like fluids. Their manufacture opens new possibilities in transformation acoustics. (Source: CFN, KIT)KIT Researchers Succeed in Realizing a New Material Class

May 8, 2012

Metafluids for Transformation Acoustics - A research team lead by Professor Martin Wegener at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) has succeeded in realizing a new material class through the manufacturing of a stable crystalline metafluid, a pentamode metamaterial. Using new nanostructuring methods, these materials can now be realized for the first time with any conceivable mechanical properties.

“Self-organization” of nano-devices: Magnetic molecules (green) arrange on a carbon nanotube (black) to build an electronic component (Photo: C. Grupe, KIT). Self-assembling Electronic Nano-components

June 20, 2011

The July issue of Nature Materials describes the function of an innovative tiny component developed by researchers of KIT’s Institute of Nanotechnology together with a team of European scientists.

Press Release 101/2011

KIT strengthens research in applications for nanostructured functional materials. (Photo: Christian Gruppe)Bosch Group Funds Professorship for Nanostructured Funktional Materials

May 17, 2011

Research on function, stability and reliability of nano materials and future nano products will be funded during the next 10 years with 500.000 Euro per annum. The effects of nano materials shall be exploited for applications in photovoltaics, energy storage and energy transformation. Robert Bosch Endowed Chair for Nanostructured Functional Materials is Prof. Dr. Oliver Kraft at the Institute of Applied Materials at KIT. The funding of the professorship is part of the „Bosch InterCampus Program“ on the occasion of Bosch's 125th anniversary.

Press Release 078/2011
(in German)

Metamaterials Teach Light to DanceMetamaterials Teach Light to Dance

August 24, 2009

Recently, metamaterials, by means of which electromagnetic waves, including light, can be manipulated, have fired the researchers’ imagination. These artificial structures possess properties that cannot be found in nature. Perfect lenses without aberrations and even invisibility cloaks à la Harry Potter can be made of metamaterials, at least theoretically. Now, scientists from the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) describe, for the first time, three-dimensional metamaterials that could really be applied in spectroscopic measurement instruments.