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Designing and building nanocomponents to spec

  • 13 August 2013

Hybrid, multifunctional nanostructures with diverse 3D shapes and complex material composition can now be manufactured with a precise and efficient fabrication technique

The realisation of nanomachines is inching ever closer to reality. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems in Stuttgart are helping make one of the grand challenges of nanoscience become reality. They have developed a method that makes it possible to manufacture an assortment of unusually shaped and functionalisable nanostructures. It lets them combine materials with widely varying chemical and physical properties at the smallest of scales. The team of scientists headed by Peer Fischer have even grown helical light antennas that are less than 100nm in length from materials which can typically not be shaped at the nanoscale. This is achieved by vapour depositing the material onto a super-cooled rotating disk. Not only does the process allow for the fabrication of nanostructures more exactly than previous methods, several billion of such nanoparticles can be produced in parallel in a rapid manner.

Peer Fischer Andrew Mark


It’s the fineness of the grind

  • 22 July 2013

In nanomaterials, the structure of the individual crystals changes with grain size

The properties of nanomaterials could be easier to predict in future. Scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems in Stuttgart have ground metal into continuously finer powders in steps and prepared a detailed catalogue of how the structure of the metal grains changes depending on grain size. They discovered that the crystal lattices initially shrink, but expand again below a certain threshold grain size. The arrangement and spacing of the atoms determine numerous properties of a material. If it is possible to accurately characterise crystal lattices as a function of the particle size, it may also be possible thereby to more accurately calculate how nanoparticles of a particular size behave.


Alfried Krupp-Förderpreis für Prof. Dr. Karsten Borgwardt

  • 02 July 2013

Tübinger Forscher für Analyse großer Mengen biologischer Daten geehrt

Der mit 1 Mio. Euro dotierte Alfried Krupp-Förderpreis zeichnet in diesem Jahr die herausragenden Leistungen des Tübinger Wissenschaftlers Prof. Dr. Karsten Borgwardt aus. Der 32-Jährige leitet seit fünf Jahren eine Forschungsgruppe an den Max-Planck-Instituten für Entwicklungsbiologie und für Intelligente Systeme. Vor zwei Jahren wurde Borgwardt zusätzlich zum Professor für „Data Mining in den Lebenswissenschaften“ an der Universität Tübingen ernannt.


StEM Gewinner 2012 EMS Outstanding Paper Award

  • 17 April 2013

StEM gewinnt Preis der European Microscopy Society in der Kategorie Materials Science

Autor: Dr.Wilfried Sigle, StEM, Max-Planck-Institut für Intelligente Systeme “Toroidal Plasmonic Eigenmodes in Oligomer Nanocavities for the Visible” B. Ögüt, N. Talebi, R. Vogelgesang, W. Sigle, and PA van Aken Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems, Stuttgart Center for Electron Microscopy, Heisenbergstr. 3, 70569 Stuttgart, Germany


A folding ceramic

  • 27 March 2013

A sophisticated nanostructure renders a wafer-thin paper made of electrically conductive vanadium pentoxide fibres both tough and pliable

Scientists in Stuttgart are currently doing things to a ceramic, which would normally result in a pile of shards. They were the first to produce a paper-like material from a vanadium pentoxide ceramic which is as hard as copper, yet flexible enough to be rolled up or folded. The material is also different from other ceramics, as it is electrically conductive. In a project funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG), the scientists from Stuttgart University, the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems and the Max Planck Institute for Solid State Research produced the ceramic paper consisting of conductive nanofibres of vanadium pentoxide in a straightforward and simple way. The ceramic paper’s special mechanical properties are derived from its structure, which resembles that of mother-of-pearl. The material looks promising for applications in batteries, flat and flexible gas sensors and actuators in artificial muscles.


Ein Roboterarm lernt Dart werfen und jonglieren

  • 27 March 2013

Preis für die beste europäische Doktorarbeit 2012 in der Robotik für ehemaligen Doktorand am MPI für Intelligente Systeme

Dr. Jens Kober´s Doktorarbeit mit dem Titel: "Learning Motor Skills: From Algorithms to Robot Experiments" (Prüfung im April 2012 an der TU Darmstadt), wurde zur besten europäischen Doktorarbeit im Forschungsgebiet der Robotik gekürt. Dafür wurde Jens Kober am 20. März 2013 während des European Robotic Network-Forums EURON mit dem Georges Giralt Award ausgezeichnet. Er ist erst der vierte deutsche Robotiker, der diesen Preis entgegen nehmen durfte.


Training Immune Cells To Combat Disease

  • 05 March 2013

Immunology: Researchers trap immune cells in droplets of water in oil in hopes of reprogramming them


IEEE RAS Early Career Award for Prof. Jan Peters

  • 22 January 2013

Prestigious Award in Robotics Research for Scientist of the MPI for Intelligent Systems

Jan Peters, head of the Robotics Learning Laboratory at the Tübingen site of the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems and since 2011 Professor of Intelligent Autonomous Systems at the Technical University of Darmstadt, receives the IEEE RAS Early Career Award for his contributions to robot learning.

Jan Peters


Deuterium from a quantum sieve

  • 05 December 2012

A metal-organic framework separates hydrogen isotopes more efficiently than previous methods.

In future it may be easier for chemists, biologists and physicists to obtain the ideal substance with which to clarify numerous research issues. For the first time, a team of scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems in Stuttgart, Jacobs University Bremen and the University of Augsburg have been able to apply a new method to separate hydrogen and its heavier isotope deuterium more efficiently than before. To this effect, they use a metal-organic framework as a quantum sieve to separate the isotopes. Deuterium serves to determine the structure of unknown substances, for example. Chemists also use it to investigate how reactions involving hydrogen proceed and thus create the basis on which to optimise the conversion. Biologists use deuterium to analyse metabolic processes, among other things.

Michael Hirscher


Deuterium from a quantum sieve

  • 05 December 2012

A metal-organic framework separates hydrogen isotopes more efficiently than previous methods

In future it may be easier for chemists, biologists and physicists to obtain the ideal substance with which to clarify numerous research issues. For the first time, a team of scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems in Stuttgart, Jacobs University Bremen and the University of Augsburg have been able to apply a new method to separate hydrogen and its heavier isotope deuterium more efficiently than before. To this effect, they use a metal-organic framework as a quantum sieve to separate the isotopes. Deuterium serves to determine the structure of unknown substances, for example. Chemists also use it to investigate how reactions involving hydrogen proceed and thus create the basis on which to optimise the conversion. Biologists use deuterium to analyse metabolic processes, among other things.