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DNA used as a lightswitch

  • 21 July 2014

A nanostructure made from two tiny gold rods reversibly changes its optical properties when specific DNA molecules are added

Electronics now has a competitor. Information is increasingly being transmitted and processed by means of light rather than electrons. And just as has happened to electronic components, their photonic counterparts are to shrink to nanoformat. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems in Stuttgart, Ludwig-Maximilian-Universität in Munich, and Ohio University in Athens, USA, have developed a switch for nano-optics. Two gold nanorods are the key players here. If the angle between them changes, certain optical properties of the nano-lightswitch also change. The researchers control the angle itself by means of molecules which in living nature are the carriers of genetic information: DNA.

Laura Na Liu


  • 01 July 2014

We welcome three new postdocs to the group: Piotr Garbacz, Jérome Roche, and Dhruv Singh.

Piotr Garbacz Jerome Roche Dhruv Pratap Singh

Google European Doctorate Fellowship 2014

  • 01 July 2014

Carl Johann Simon-Gabriel erhält renommiertes Doktorandenstipendium für seine Forschung an Kausaler Inferenz

Carl Johann Simon-Gabriel, 25-jähriger Nachwuchsforscher am Max-Planck-Institut für Intelligente Systeme, Abteilung Empirische Inferenz (Prof. Dr. Bernhard Schölkopf), erhält 2014 als einer von 15 Jungforschern in Europa eines der begehrten Doktorandenstipendien von Google. Laut Google gehören sie international zur aufstrebenden Elite im Bereich der Informatik. Als Kriterien für die dreijährige Förderung führt Google an, dass die Stipendiaten außerordentlich fähig, kenntnisreich und kreativ seien. Mehr als nur Informatik: Sprachgewandt und Musikbegeistert

Carl Johann Simon-Gabriel

Smallest Chemical Nanomotor and Smallest Nanopropeller published

  • 22 June 2014

We have published a paper about synthetic chemical nanomotors with an overall size (30 nm) that is comparable to that of some enzymes (Nano Lett., 2014, 14 (5), pp 2407–2412), as well as nanopropellers that are small enough to navigate complex biological networks (diameter of 70 nm), yet can be fully controlled (ACS Nano, Article ASAP, DOI: 10.1021/nn502360t).

Tung Chun Lee John Gibbs Andrew Mark Mariana Alarcon-Correa Debora Schamel Cornelia Miksch Peer Fischer

Featured Cover Article

  • 09 June 2014

Our paper "Nanopropellers and Their Actuation in Complex Viscoelastic Media“ is the cover article for ACS Nano 8, 8794–8801, (2014). In addition the ACS Nano September 2014 podcast features our work. News sites and blogs report our work as "world’s smallest propeller“. (September 2014) Image by Alejandro Posada Boada.

Debora Schamel Andrew Mark John Gibbs Cornelia Miksch Alejandro Posada Peer Fischer

PRNI 2014 Workshop in Tübingen

  • 01 June 2014

Tübingen hosts an International Workshop in a trend-setting research field of combined Neuro- and Computerscience

The international Workshop „Pattern Recognition in Neuroimaging“ (PRNI 2014, www.prni.org) with more than 100 participants takes place from 4th to 6th June 2014 at the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems, Campus Tübingen. This young workshop builds an important bridge between basic researchers of Neuroscience and Computer Science. Amongst others, the participants discuss new methods and applications of fMRI (functional magnetic resonance imaging) - nowadays a common procedure in medical diagnosis. This workshop is a trend-setter for a new, dynamic and future-orientated research area. Moreover, it contributes to strengthen the research location Tübingen in the field of Computer Science, especially at the interface to Neuroscience.

Moritz Grosse-Wentrup

Research Network: Learning Systems

  • 01 June 2014

MPI for Intelligent Systems and ETH Zurich (Dept. of Computer Science) have united to become the world’s principal center for autonomous intelligent systems, 'Learning Systems'.

To foster research efforts, especially among graduates, workshops and conferences will take place and both institutions provide ample access to research facilities. The first summer school for PhD students took place from June 16-20, 2014, at ETH Zurich. More background information at: ETH Zurich: Pioneering research network in learning systems established Research Network on Learning Systems (Summer School 2014, Zurich)

Metin Sitti becomes new director at the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems

  • 21 May 2014

The Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems has appointed Metin Sitti as a new director at the institute’s Stuttgart location. There, Sitti will head the Physical Intelligence Department. One of the main goals of his research will be to obtain a new understanding of physically intelligent systems made of smart and soft materials.

Metin Sitti

Cover Article

  • 21 May 2014

Our paper “Shape control in wafer-based aperiodic 3D nanostructures” is the cover article for Nanotechnology 25 doi:10.1088/0957-4484/25/23/235302. (June, 2014).

Jeong Hyeon-Ho Andrew Mark John Gibbs Peer Fischer


  • 05 May 2014

To our alumni Yigit Menguc, Onur Ozcan, and Rika Wright Carlsen on their new faculty positions. Yigit has accepted a position at Oregon State University, Onur has accepted a position at Bilkent University, and Rika has accepted a position at Robert Morris University.

Metin Sitti