Max Planck Institute for Chemical Physics of Solids

Max Planck Institute for Chemical Physics of Solids

The Max Planck Institute for Chemical Physics of Solids is dedicated to the discovery of new materials with unusual properties. To this end, researchers must have a fundamental understanding of the interrelations between the atomic structure, chemical bonding, electron states and the properties of a compound. The key research focus of the Institute is compounds of different metals. Chemists and physicists as well as experimental and theoretical scientists use state-of-the-art instruments and methods to investigate how the chemical composition, configuration of atoms and external forces affect the behaviour of electrons. It is these that are responsible for the magnetic, electronic and chemical properties of the compounds, and thus for their potential use as materials.


Nöthnitzer Str. 40
01187 Dresden
Phone: +49 351 4646-0
Fax: +49 351 4646-10

PhD opportunities

This institute has an International Max Planck Research School (IMPRS):

IMPRS for Chemistry and Physics of Quantum Materials

In addition, there is the possibility of individual doctoral research. Please contact the directors or research group leaders at the Institute.

Department Physics of Quantum Materials


Department Physics of Correlated Matter


Department Chemical Metals Science

The pioneer of paleogenetics, Svante Pääbo from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology sitting on a chair on a stage, wearing a grey suit and glasses,facing towards a female moderator. He was answering questions during the ceremonial event commemorating the 30-year anniversary of the Max Planck Society in Leipzig and Dresden.

On September 4, 2023, Minister-President Michael Kretschmer and Max Planck President Patrick Cramer hosted a ceremonial event at the Kulturpalast in Dresden commemorating the 30-year success story of the Max Planck Society in Leipzig and Dresden. 

The Vice Presidents of the Max Planck Society: Asifa Akhtar, Claudia Felser, Christian Doeller and Sibylle Günter (from top left to bottom right).

The new team of Vice-Presidents includes three women. This means women now hold the majority on the Executive Committee


Experiments show that the heavy fermion compound YbRh2Si2 undergoes a spectacular electro-nuclear phase transition into a modulated magnetic state at a temperature as low as 1.5 mK. In a just published paper, an international team of scientists from the UK (Royal Holloway University of London) and Germany (Goethe University Frankfurt, MPI-CPfS Dresden) demonstrated that in YbRh2Si2, at TA = 1.5 mK, the tiny nuclear moments profoundly change an electronic magnetic state formed at a much higher temperature  TN = 70.5 mK.  


Roughly 90 percent of all materials can have electronic states on surfaces which differ from those in their bulk


A giant anomalous Nernst effect was found in YbMnBi2

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It is frequently only the development of new materials that makes technological advances possible, whether in the areas of energy supply or information technology. With the Heusler compounds, Claudia Felser, Director at the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Physics of Solids in Dresden, uncovered a rich source of materials that offer promising properties for a variety of applications.

Electric cables that routinely conduct electricity without loss – physicists have been motivated by this idea ever since superconductivity was discovered 100 years ago.

Electricity from Hot Air

MPR 1 /2011 Materials & Technology

Even the most efficient motor generates more heat than propulsion. However, thermoelectric generators could convert some of this unused energy into electricity. Scientists are currently searching for suitable materials.

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Rethinking magnets – in 3D! 

2022 Donnelly, Claire

Material Sciences Solid State Research

Combining nanoscale 3D printing, and magnetic microscopy, researchers have created DNA-like magnetic nanostructures. Nanoscale textures form both in the material and the magnetic field, opening opportunities for computing applications – and beyond. 


Topological quantum chemistry

2021 Felser, Claudia

Chemistry Material Sciences Particle Physics Plasma Physics Quantum Physics Solid State Research

Using a recently developed formalism, titled topological quantum chemistry (TQC) and magnetic TQC, we carry out a high-throughput search of topological materials in well known databases, such as Inorganic Crystal Structure Database. We identified as many as 20000 materials that display topological features and another ~100 new topological magnetic materials. Herein, we review this discovery and provide insights for future material search directions.


The quantum Hall effect in the third dimension

2020 Gooth, Johannes

Particle Physics Plasma Physics Quantum Physics

The Quantum Hall Effect (QHE) in two-dimensional (2D) metals is a macroscopic quantum phenomenon and has helped to solve many important aspects of quantum physics. In common three-dimensional (3D) metals, the QHE is usually forbidden, because the third dimension destroys the quantization. However, our studies on the 3D metals ZrTe 5 and HfTe 5 show that their Hall resistance can be quasi-quantized if there are enough electrons in the materials. This makes the Hall effect in ZrTe 5 and HfTe 5 a real 3D counterpart to QHE in 2D systems.


Direct imaging of orbitals in quantum materials

2019 Tjeng, Liu Hao

Material Sciences Quantum Physics

The search for new quantum materials with novel properties is often focused on materials containing transition-metal or rare-earth elements. The presence of the atomic-like d or f orbitals provides a fruitful playground to generate novel phenomena. In order to efficiently design and tune the materials, it is essential to identify the d or f orbitals that actively participate in the formation of the ground state. Here we developed a new experimental method that circumvents the need for theory and instead provides the information as measured.


Evidence for Weyl fermions by the local nuclear magnetic resonance techniques

2018 Baenitz, Michael

Chemistry Particle Physics Quantum Physics Solid State Research

Tantalum has one of the largest quadrupole moments among all elements which makes it a rather useful local probe for excitations of Weyl fermions in the new Weyl semimetal TaP. We found three NQR lines in a good agreement with theoretical calculations including spin orbit coupling. The temperature dependence of the spin lattice relaxation rate is attributed to the magnetic excitations at the Weyl nodes and a good agreement with predictions from theory could be found. The microscopic magnetic resonance techniques therefore provide new insides into the class of Weyl semimetals.

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