Scientific service groups

The research of the institute is supported by several scientific service groups. These are headed by group leaders of individual working groups, but are available to the entire Institute for scientific analysis. These are in detail:

The IT Department is responsible for the IT infrastructure of the Institute. It takes care of the operation, maintenance and expansion of the network and the IT services provided by it, including the necessary server hardware, including the HPC systems of the theory group. In addition, it provides and advises the staff in IT matters and offers help with problems.


Electron microscopy

The central electron microscopy facility operates two scanning electron microscopes and three transmission electron microscopes at the MPI-P.
Besides the operation of the microscopes, the field of activity includes sample preparation, the training of young scientists at the instruments, service measurements for various projects and the development of new measuring and preparation methods.

Focused Ion Beam

The focused ion beam etching facility allows the micro- and nanostructuring of surfaces with an accuracy of up to 10 nanometers. Furthermore, thin sections for transmission electron microscopes or cross sections of thin layers or particles can be prepared.

High-resolution NMR Spectroscopy

The NMR group analyses new organic and inorganic substances, which are present in solution or as gel. NMR spectroscopy can calculate three-dimensional structures and thus provides a deeper understanding of the composition and molecular make-up of a wide variety of chemical compounds such as monomers, polymers and functional materials.

Mass spectrometry

In mass spectrometry, molecules are "weighed" in principle. "Weighing" is done with very high accuracy and works with the smallest sample quantities. The Mass Spectrometry service group examines samples from synthesis chemistry and provides information for the identification of new compounds, structure and purity of both small organic molecules and large polymer molecules.

Mechanic / dielectric properties

The laboratory offers numerous possibilities to characterize the mechanical and dielectric properties of polymer melts and solutions as well as hydrogels. Material properties such as viscosity, elasticity and dielectric constants can be measured using a variety of state-of-the-art analytical instruments.

NMR at solids

The method of nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy is used to examine solids for their chemical structure and local interactions. The knowledge gained creates a deeper understanding of molecular processes of thermal as well as electronic properties and therefore forms the basis for the understanding of structure-property relationships.

Polymer analytics

The main activities of the polymer analytics group include service measurements for working groups of the institute, the further development of analytical methods and equipment as well as various research projects. A variety of methods are used to characterize polymers and functional materials, including chromatographic methods, light scattering, thermoanalysis and viscometry.

Atomic force microscopy

With this method topography as well as friction, adhesion, elasticity, electric and magnetic fields, electric potentials and currents of materials can be investigated on the nanometer scale. Atomic force microscopy is mainly used in air and in liquids. Scientists can order measurements as a service or carry out measurements independently according to instructions.


The new clean room was handed over to the institute in July 2016 fully functional. It is a basic prerequisite for microstructuring as well as for sample preparation under particularly clean conditions - with less than 29 particles per cubic meter that are larger than 5 µm. Photolithographic methods and a reactive ion etching facility are available for the structuring of polymers as well as metals.

X-Ray methods

The radiographic scattering methods at the institute allow the structural characterization of hard and soft materials as well as solids and liquids. Typical length scales range from a few Ångstroms (0.1 nm) for crystalline, inorganic materials to about 100 nm for supramolecular structures. Temperature dependent measurements allow e.g. to study phase transitions or relaxation processes in thermodynamic equilibrium.

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