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NIM nanosystems initiative munich

ERC Grant for Thomas Carell

NIM member Prof. Thomas Carell has won an ERC Advanced Grant. In his new ERC project, “The Chemical Basis of RNA Epigenetics”, Carell will explore how and why organisms chemically modify the nucleoside subunits of the nucleic acids DNA and RNA.

The quickest route to the tip

Photo: pixabay.com

According to a theoretical model developed by LMU physicists, in cell protrusions, cargo-transporting motor proteins often get in each other’s way. The upshot is that freely diffusing proteins reach the leading edge faster.

Unlocking the secrets of the Achilles’ heel

Transition from tendon to bone connected by collagen fibers

Walking, running, jumping – every movement of the foot stretches the Achilles’ tendon and the loads can approach ten times the body weight. But the connection between the heel bone and Achilles’ tendon withstands this challenge. Scientists at TU Munich including NIM member Prof. Andreas Bausch has now discovered why.

A new spin on electronics

Our computer technology is based on the transport of electric charge in semiconductors. This technology’s potential will be soon reaching its limits since the components deployed cannot be miniaturized further. NIM scientists and colleagues demonstrate an alternative: using an electron’s spin to transmit information.

Hairpins help each other out

The evolution of cells and organisms is thought to have been preceded by a phase in which informational molecules like DNA could be replicated selectively. New work shows that hairpin structures make particularly effective DNA replicators.

Shaken, but not stirred

A team of researchers led by NIM physics professor Immanuel Bloch has experimentally realized an exotic quantum system which is robust to mixing by periodic forces.

What holds the heart together

Our hearts beat a life long. With every beat our heart muscle contracts and expands. How this can work throughout an entire life remains largely a mystery. NIM scientists from TU Munich and a team from Vienna have now measured the forces acting between the building blocks titin and α-actinin which stabilize the muscle.

Lighting up ultrathin films

Based on a study of the optical properties of novel ultrathin semiconductors, NIM researchers have developed a method for rapid and efficient characterization of these materials.

Learning from nature

A novel carbon nitride-based polymer is capable of storing electrons energized by sunlight for hours and releasing them on demand. The system might provide the basis for the storage of solar energy in the future.

Ernst Haage Prize for Aliaksandr Bandarenka

NIM member Prof. Aliaksandr Bandarenka (TU Munich) was awarded the Ernst Haage Prize 2016. The prize is given jointly by the Ernst Haage foundation and the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Energy Conversion and endowed with 7.500 EUR. It honors young scientists for outstanding achievements in this research field.

Shaping up to make the cut

Before RNA copies of genes can program the synthesis of proteins, the non-coding regions are removed by the spliceosome. Munich researchers report that distinct conformations of a member of this molecular complex play a vital role in the process.

Genes on the rack

Physicists at LMU have developed a novel nanotool that provides a facile means of characterizing the mechanical properties of biomolecules. They constructed a molecular clamp out of artificial DNA strands that can be programmed to exert a defined force on a test molecule.

Tiny measuring device for humidity and solvent vapors

NIM scientists developed a measuring device which is only a few nanometers in size but fulfills two functions: it detects very low humidity levels and identifies vapors of organic solvents. The central part of the device is a stack of nanolayers.

Measuring forces in the DNA molecule

DNA normally has the structure of a double helix. Among other things, it is stabilized by stacking forces between base pairs. Scientists at the TUM have succeeded at measuring these forces for the very first time on the level of single base pairs. This new knowledge could help to construct precise molecular machines out of DNA.

Random walk into captivity

The cell’s internal skeleton undergoes constant restructuring. LMU physicists now show that its constituent proteins can be efficiently transported to their sites of action by diffusion – provided they can be arrested when they get there.

DNA dominos on a chip

Normally, individual molecules of genetic material repel each other. However, when space is limited DNA molecules must be packed together more tightly. This case arises in sperm, cell nuclei and the protein shells of viruses. An international team of physicists has now succeeded in artificially recreating this "DNA condensation" on a biochip.

A signal boost for molecular microscopy

Cavity-enhanced Raman-scattering reveals information on structure and properties of carbon nanotubes

Protein patterns – stubbornly stable

Control of the spatial distribution of specific proteins within cells is crucial for many biological processes. NIM researchers have now shown that, once such patterns have been set up, they are remarkably robust to changing conditions.

Magic carpet

Credit: IFM, University of Linköping

NIM scientists and their colleagues have found a clever way to decouple organic nanosheets grown on metal surfaces. By intercalation of iodine atoms the “organic carpet” behaved almost as it was free-standing: Ideal conditions to transfer organic nanostructures from metal onto more suitable substrates for molecular electronics.

Live is motion

Any system in thermodynamic equilibrium is known to satisfy perfectly balanced forward and backward transitions between any two states. Living systems like cilia violate this principle. Thus, even stochastic fluctuations in such systems could be used to drive a small-scale engine. Picture: C. Hohmann (NIM), M. Leunissen (Dutch Data Design)

The LMU physicist Chase Broedersz and co-workers have developed a way to distinguish the random motions of particles in non-living molecular systems from the motility of active living matter.

The method affords new insights into fundamental biological processes.

Friedrich Simmel receives ERC grant

The NIM member Friedrich Simmel from the Physics Department of TUM won out in the latest round of ERC grants. His interdisciplinary project is at the interface of physics and biology. It would not have been possible just a few years ago. It is ambitious in trying to carve out new scientific grounds.

Mechanics of the cell

Reconstitution of active cytoskeletal vesicles. The active cytoskeleton (green)exerts forces to the surrounding lipid membrane – Image: Etienne Loiseau / TUM

Living cells must alter their external form actively, otherwise functions like cell division would not be possible. At the Technical University of Munich (TUM) the biophysicist Professor Andreas Bausch and his team have developed a synthetic cell model to investigate the fundamental principles of the underlying cellular mechanics.

Efficiency of water electrolysis doubled

Water electrolysis has not yet established itself as a method for the production of hydrogen. Too much energy is lost in the process. With a trick researchers of the Technical University of Munich (TUM), the Ruhr University Bochum and Leiden University have now doubled the efficiency of the reaction.

Partitioning by collision

Computer simulations performed by a group led by the physicist Erwin Frey (LMU München & NIM) have now shown that mixtures of equally sized particles in solution will sort themselves out, provided that the components differ in diffusivity.

Arnold Sommerfeld Prize for Gregor Koblmueller

The Bavarian Academy of Sciences and Humanities awards the Arnold Sommerfeld Prize 2015 to Dr. Gregor Koblmüller (WSI, TUM). The prize recognizes his outstanding scientific contributions towards the realization of complex semiconductor nanowire heterostructures and their use for next generation electronic and photonic devices.

Cell morphology shapes protein patterns

E. coli Bacteria (Picture: Dr Kateryna / Fotolia.com)

Precise control of the distribution of specific proteins is essential for many biological processes. An LMU team has now described a new model for intracellular pattern formation. Here, the shape of the cell itself plays a major role.
Image: E. coli Bacteria (Dr Kateryna / Fotolia.com)

New approaches for hybrid solar cells

Using a new procedure researchers at the TUM and the LMU can now produce extremely thin and robust, yet highly porous semiconductor layers. A very promising material – for small, light-weight, flexible solar cells, for example, or electrodes improving the performance of rechargeable batteries.

Looking forward to working with you!

After serving eight years at the helm of NIM, our coordinator Jochen Feldmann has decided to step down and to entrust another colleague with the coordination of the cluster. Recently, the members of NIM have elected me to be his successor as cluster coordinator.

Enroute to a quantum computer

Physicists at TU München detect mechanisms in semiconductor nanostructures which can cause stored quantum information to be lost and inhibit this by applying magnetic fields.

BIOMOD 2015 - LMU Nanocandy team takes runner-up spot

LMU‘s Nanocandy team

LMU‘s Nanocandy team was highly successful in this year’s BIOMOD competition held at Harvard University. Team members Luzia Kilwing, Jonathan Wagner, Chaochen Lu and Maximilian Schiff won the second prize overall, as well as picking up the prize for the best presentation of their research project – NanocANDy.

The NIM Image Film 2015

After one year in the making, it is finally done: the 2015 NIM image film. In the seven minute videoclip, NIM scientists Bein, Feldmann, Gross, Lipfert and Wagner give some inspiring insights into the visions and goals of the Nanosystems Initiative Munich, featuring the Research Areas I, III and V.

Nanoquakes Probe New 2-Dimensional Material

Collaborative research between the University of Augsburg, Germany, and UC Riverside, USA, opens up new ways of understanding monolayer films for (opto-)electronic application.

A Wonder in Blue

A group of LMU researchers led by Alexander Urban and Carlos Cardenas-Daw at the Chair for Photonics and Optoelectronics of Professor Jochen Feldmann, has succeeded in synthesizing ultrathin perovskite nanocrystals in the form of ultrathin nanoplatelets suitable for use in tunable and energy-efficient LEDs.

Faster design – better catalysts

While the cleaning of car exhausts is among the best known applications of catalytic processes, it is only the tip of the iceberg. Practically the entire chemical industry relies on catalytic reactions. Catalyst design plays a key role in improving these processes. An international team of scientists has now developed a concept that elegantly correlates geometric and adsorption properties.

A swinging molecule of light

NIM physists of the Augsburg University and TU Munich (TUM) successfully used nanomechanical sound waves to control a ‘molecule of light’ formed by two neighboring nanophotonic resonators. The scientists show, that the vibrating sound wave switches on and off the bond of their photonic molecule at unprecedented speeds.

Nanostructures for contactless control

NIM chemists at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität (LMU) München have fabricated a novel nanosheet-based photonic crystal that changes color in response to moisture. The new material could form the basis for humidity-sensitive contactless control of interactive screens on digital devices.

The secret of the tiny magnetic beads

NIM physicists were able to show how biological motors and molecules can be used for precise measurements of magnetic materials. Superparamagnetic beads are for example able to track certain substances in liquids or they can mix liquids measuring only a few microliters.

A novel microscope for nanosystems

NIM scientists developed a new type of microscope, that enables the optical investigation of nanoparticles. Using a resonator, the vanishing small signals of their interaction with light are being amplified by a factor of 1000, yet achieving an optical resolution close to the fundamental diffraction limit.

Designer electronics out of the printer

Optimized printing enables custom organic electronics

They are thin, light-weight, flexible and can be produced efficiently: printed microelectronic components made of synthetics. Physicists at TUM have now observed the creation of razor thin polymer electrodes and improved the electrical properties of the printed films.

More hydrogen with new nanoparticles

Renewable energy

Hydrogen is a promising storage medium for electricity generated via renewable sources. NIM scientists have successfully synthesized iron-nickel oxide nanoparticles that allows for the hydrogen production process to be ten times more efficient than existing solutions.

Tuesday, 02 May, 2017

NIM Workshop "Young Ideas in Nanoscience"

Tuesday, May 2, 2017, Münchner Künstlerhaus am Lenbachplatz


Wednesday, 05 April, 2017

At which magnetic field, exactly, does the Kondo resonance begin to split?…

Phys. Rev. B 95, 165404 (2017)



Regular seminars and lectures for NIM graduate students:


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