Nanosystems Initiative Munich brings research groups together
The cluster “Nanosystems Initiative Munich” (NIM) is one of the Clusters of Excellence which have been selected on 13th October 2006 by the German government's “Excellence Initiative”. NIM brings together research groups in the Munich area covering the fields of physics, biophysics, physical chemistry, biochemistry, biology, electrical engineering, and medicine.
It merges their combined expertise on man-made and biological nanoscale systems into a coherent and focused nanoscience cluster. While many individual nanoscale building blocks and components have been devised in recent years using top-down and bottom-up strategies, little is known about their integration into entire functional systems.
The overarching vision guiding the research in this cluster will therefore be to design, fabricate and achieve control of a broad range of artificial and multi-functional nanoscale systems, and to unlock their potential for possible applications in fields as diverse as future information technologies, the life sciences, or combinations of both. To this end, it will be essential to gain a fundamental understanding of their properties and behavior, which range from being purely quantum mechanical to being governed mainly by stochastic effects.
Nanoscience feeds information and life sciences
Research areas dominated by quantum effects include single-electron and single-spin behavior at lowest temperatures, nanophotonic experiments, and investigation of practical strategies for quantum computation. These are complemented by research areas that address the exploration of extremely sensitive nanosensors and -actuators, both artificial and natural single-molecule machines, nanoscale objects and vehicles in live cells, and drug delivery nanosystems.
Sophisticated experimental studies and technological developments will be complemented by in-depth theoretical investigations of increasingly complex nanosystems in order to create a broad and deep knowledge base, and to establish an exciting research environment that bridges and links traditionally separate disciplines. The highly interdisciplinary nature of this cluster ensures cross-fertilization and synergies, an internationally competitive research program, a uniquely fertile environment for a stimulating graduate education, and establishes ideal conditions for technological innovation.
NIM as promoter for science careers
A major structural goal of the NIM-cluster will be to firmly establish itself as the most attractive nanoscience research site in Germany for young scientists who have excelled in their work at an international level. To this end, special emphasis will be placed on ensuring early independence of outstanding junior scientists, offering them internationally competitive start-up packages and tenure-track professorships that will give them a long-term career perspective and allow for continuity of research.