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 Chemical Metals Science more
Department Physics of Quantum Materials more
Department Physics of Correlated Matter more
With 300 kilometres per second to new electronics

A material with superfast electrons that exhibits extremely large magnetoresistance may be suitable for use in electronic components

Change of perspective in the electronic landscape
The conventional electronic model for metals is not valid for bismuth more
Interview with Chinese student Yuan Luo
"You have to be open-minded" more
Indecisive quanta

Indecisive quanta

February 26, 2013
In ytterbium nickel phosphide there is a quantum critical point between the ferromagnetic and non-magnetic states that was previously not thought possible more
Iron instead of precious metal
An iron-aluminium compound could replace a palladium catalyst, reducing the cost of plastic production more

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.
They are called otoconia – tiny crystals in the inner ear that help us maintain our balance. A good reason to take a closer look at these particles.

The quantum sound of metals

2018 Hassinger, Elena
Chemistry Material Sciences Particle Physics Plasma Physics Quantum Physics Solid State Research
Every musical instrument has its own sound with a frequency spectrum that is determined by the shape of the instrument. In analogy to that, every metal has its characteristic frequency spectrum reflecting the properties of its electrons. Our investigation of the quantum sound of electrons in the metal PdRhO2 shows that electrons move quickly in the crystallographic planes whereas they hardly move perpendicular to the planes. The quantum music sounds slightly differently than expected and will help understand the particular hydrodynamic transport properties of electrons in these metals. more

Covalence and ionicity in compounds of MgAgAs-type: from concepts to structure prediction

2017 Wagner, Frank R.; Bende, David; Grin, Yuri
Chemistry Material Sciences Particle Physics Plasma Physics Quantum Physics Solid State Research
Analysis of chemical bonding in compounds of the MgAgAs type of structure by bonding indicators in position space resulted in a generalization of the 8­–N rule for bonds of variable polarity. Position-space indicators enable quantification of ionicity and covalence, which was successfully used to explain the different site preference in main-group and transition-metal compounds of the MgAgAs type. On this basis, it was possible to propose promising candidates for new compounds with the MgAgAs structure type, which was subsequently verified for the majority of compounds by laboratory synthesis. more

Topological Weyl semimetals

2016 Yan, Binghai; Felser, Claudia
Chemistry Quantum Physics Solid State Research
In recent years, theoretical physicists discovered that the topology of a material can lead to interesting new quantum properties. This simple concept can be applied to the electronic structure of semiconducting materials in which relativistic effects are important. In 2015, several materials like NbP, NbAs, TaP, TaAs, und MoTe2 have been suggested by theoreticians as promissing, so-called Weyl semimetals, and have been physically characterized just a bit later. The special feature is that Weyl fermions, which occur in these materials as quasiparticles, exist in two chiralities. more

Hunting for the electrical properties of topological insulators

2015 Höfer, Katharina; Becker, Christoph; Rata, Diana; Swanson, Jesse; Thalmeier, Peter; Tjeng, Liu Hao
Chemistry Solid State Research
Topological insulators form a novel state of matter that open up new opportunities to create unique quantum particles. Many exciting experiments have been proposed by theory, but still await their experimental verification, not to mention their implementation into applications. The main obstacle is the extrinsic conductivity associated with the unavoidable presence of defects in their bulk, as well as impurities on their surfaces. For Bi2Te3 films it is possible to obtain the desired quality by carrying out the preparation and characterization entirely under ultra-high vacuum conditions. more

From palladium to noble metal-free hydrogenation catalysts – intermetallic compounds in catalysis

2014 Armbrüster, Marc; Kovnir, Kyrill; Friedrich, Matthias; Grin, Yuri
Chemistry Material Sciences Solid State Research

A knowledge-based concept has proven as efficient strategy for the development of innovative catalysts. Understanding of the crystal structure and the atomic interactions within intermetallic compounds allows for selection of suitable intermetallic compounds as effective hydrogenation catalysts. In contrast to the widely applied trial-and-error approach, the knowledge-based approach is an advantageous alternative, demonstrating the application potential of intermetallic compounds in heterogeneous catalysis.

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