Klaus Müllen joined the Max Planck Society in 1989 as one of the directors of the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research. His PhD degree was granted by the University of Basel in 1972. He received his habilitation in 1977 at ETH, Zürich. In 1979 he became a Professor at the University of Cologne, and in 1983 at the Johannes-Gutenberg-University, Mainz.
In 1993 he was awarded the Max Planck Forschungspreis, in 1997 the Philip Morris Forschungspreis, in 2001 the Nozoe-Award, in 2002 the Kyoto University Foundation Award, in 2003 the Science Award of the “Stifterverband”, in 2006 the Belgian Polymer Award, in 2008 the Innovation Award, the Nikolaus August Otto Award and 2009 the Society of Polymer Science Japan International Award. Many more honors followed since then: 2011 ACS Award in Polymer Chemistry; Tsungming Tu Award, Taiwan; 2012 BASF-Award for Organic Electronics; 2013 Franco-German Award of the Sociéte Chimique de France; Adolf-von-Baeyer-Medal, GDCh; Utz-Helmut Felcht Award, SGL Group; ChinaNANO Award. In 2014 he obtained the Carl Friedrich Gauß-Medal of the "Braunschweigische Wissenschaftliche Gesellschaft" and he was winner of the ACS Nano Lectureship Award.
Klaus Müllen obtained honorary professorships from East China University of Science and Technology, Shanghai; the Institute of Applied Chemistry Chinese Academy of Sciences, Changchun; the Institute of Chemistry Chinese Academy of Science, Beijing; the Jiao Tong University, Shanghai and last not least the University of Heidelberg. Honorary doctorate degrees obtained Klaus Müllen from the University of Sofia, the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), the Jiatong University, Shanghai and the University of Ulm. In 1999 he became a member of the prestigious German Academy of Sciences "Leopoldina". From 2008-2009 he served as president of the German Chemical Society (GDCh). In 2010 he received an Advanced ERC Grant for his work on nanographenes. Since 2012 he is corresponding member of the North Rhine-Westphalian Academy of Sciences and Arts and 2013 he became a honorary member of the distinguished American Academy of Arts & Sciences. During 2013 and 2014 he was president of the German Association for the Advancement of Science and Medicine. 2015 he became a member of the European Academy of Sciences (EURASC) and corresponding member in the category of mathematics and sciences of the "Braunschweigische Wissenschaftliche Gesellschaft".
He is currently associate editor of the Journal of the American Chemical Society. His broad research interests range from the development of new polymer-forming reactions, including methods of organometallic chemistry, to the chemistry and physics of small molecules, graphenes, dendrimers and biosynthetic hybrids. His work further encompasses the formation of multi-dimensional polymers with complex shape-persistent architectures, nanocomposites, and molecular materials with liquid crystalline properties for electronic and optoelectronic devices. He owns about 60 patents, published nearly 1700 papers and has a h-index of 117.
- Graphenes and carbon materials;
- new polymer-forming reactions including methods of organometallic chemistry;
- multi-dimensional polymers with complex shape-persistent architectures;
- functional polymeric networks, in particular for catalytic purposes;
- dyes and pigments;
- chemistry and physics of single molecules;
- molecular materials with liquid crystalline properties for electronic and optoelectronic devices;
- biosynthetic hybrids;