Research initiatives at the IFG

Scientific Highlights

Awards and prizes for employees of the IFG

Bild Veröffentlichungen IFG

Papers, lectures, proceedings, book contributions, patents

Mitarbeiter Bild IFG aus KIT Bildern

All employees of the IFG in alphabetical order

Press releases

Press and KIT Relaeses of IFG

Bild Rahmenseite HUB  neu
KIT Innovation HUB

Creating disruptive innovations for sustainable infrastructure in transport, energy, water and municipal infrastructure.

KIT Innovation HUB





Material Sciences: KIT Coordinates Germany-wide Bioprinting Project

With extrusion-based bioprinting, a special 3D printing technique, cells and tissue-like materials can be assembled into customised objects. This should make it possible in future to produce tissue models for pharmaceutical and medical applications. In order to standardise the process flows in bioprinting, a Germany-wide round robin test will start in October in the SOP_BioPrint project, which is coordinated at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT). The Federal Ministry of Education and Research is funding the project with 3.15 million euros, of which KIT will receive 1.1 million euros for the development of methods for process control and analysis. "With the inter-location round robin test, data for comparability will be created for the first time, mapping all steps of the complex 3D printing process in bioprinting," explains Jürgen Hubbuch from KIT's Institute for Functional Interfaces. "In addition to the experimental part, the focus is on creating an infrastructure for data storage and data management through a database."


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PI_082_2021_Homepage_IFG_Innovativer Sensor spuert Molküle gezielt und genau aufKIT
Innovative sensor detects molecules specifically and precisely

Researchers at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) [INT and IFG] and the Technical University of Darmstadt have developed a novel sensor for gas molecules. For this purpose, they have combined a graphene transistor with a customised metal-organic coating. The innovative sensor detects molecules specifically and accurately and paves the way for a whole new class of sensors. As a prototypical example, the group demonstrates an ethanol sensor that reacts neither to other alcohols nor to moisture. They report on their results in Advanced Materials. (DOI: 10.1002/adma.202103316)


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Controlling the properties of molecular layers in a targeted manner. KIT researchers have been able to create porous crystalline structures for the first time, which offer a wide range of possibilities for organic electronics, photonics and optics.

A research group at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) has succeeded in avoiding the symmetry trap through programmed arrangement and aligning asymmetric building blocks on a macroscopic scale. The results were published in the journal Advanced Materials."After several years of research, we have for the first time created porous crystalline layers that exhibit an internal electric field," reports Christof Wöll from the KIT Institute for Functional Interfaces. "In addition, we were able to demonstrate that these layers show optical frequency doubling."The University of Heidelberg is also involved in the research project, which is part of the Cluster of Excellence 3D Matter Made to Order; researchers from Graz and Berlin were also involved in the cooperation.




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Foto__NHB-Preis-Bunsen-2021__Heinke.JPGLars Heinke/KIT
Award of the Nernst-Haber-Bodenstein Prize to Lars Heinke

The German Bunsen Society for Physical Chemistry has awarded Lars Heinke, Institute for Functional Interfaces, the Nernst-Haber-Bodenstein Prize, which is considered the most important prize for young physicochemical scientists in Germany.


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News_2021_042_Elektronische Nase unterscheidet MinzdüfteAmadeus Bramsiepe, KIT
Electronic Nose Distinguishes Minty Scents Interdisciplinary KIT Research Group Develops and Tests Artificial Odor Detection by Sensors Based on Novel Material Combinations

In nature, plant fragrances attract insects, for example. But they are also used in industry, for example in the production of perfumes and aromas. In order to distinguish the scents of mint in particular reliably, quickly and objectively, researchers at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) have developed an electronic nose with an artificial sense of smell in an interdisciplinary collaboration: With high precision, it can recognise different types of mint - making it suitable for applications ranging from pharmaceutical quality control to the observation of mint oil as an environmentally friendly bioherbicide.



PCR Tests: Higher Efficiency due to Magnetic Particles KIT invention is applied in millions of corona tests worldwide. Market share of about 25 percent in Germany

The PCR test is currently the most reliable method to detect an infection with SARS-CoV-2. Fragments of the genetic material of the virus are detected. The genetic material contained in the smear must first be purified and concentrated. The most effective methods use specially coated magnetic particles for this purification. An invention by KIT scientists makes this complex method more efficient.

It was developed by Matthias Franzreb and Jonas Wohlgemuth at the KIT Institute for Functional Interfaces. In their method, the particles are manipulated with metal needles whose magnetic attraction can be switched on and off from the outside. This allows the particles to be transported to a new vessel for the next purification step, where they are rapidly rotated to redistribute the DNA fragments - like tiny stirrers. The process runs quickly and fully automatically with 96 needles simultaneously. "This allows the genetic material to be extracted from 96 samples in 30 minutes," explains Franzreb. "So one device can prepare more than 4 000 samples in 24 hours."


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Link to Homepage Helmholtz-Gemeinschaft Deutscher Forschungszentren with more information to the theme

NEWS 2021 Medizin: Nanoelektroden zur Behandlung von neurologischen ErkrankungenGrafik: Mopic – Fotolia
Nanoelectrodes for the Treatment of Neurological Diseases

For neurological diseases such as Parkinson's, deep brain stimulation (THS) has enabled breakthroughs in treatment. This involves implanting an electrode deep into the brain, which allows microelectronics under the skin to send targeted electrical signals to the site of the electrode. These interrupt the neurological "interference fire" that triggers the disease.

Until now, however, inserting the electrodes has required surgery, which carries the risk of bleeding and infection. An international team, including a KIT scientist, has now developed a method in which nanoscale particulate electrodes are injected and controlled wirelessly. The results have been published in Science Advances.


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Catalyst Research: Molecular Probes Require Highly Precise Calculations

Catalysts are indispensable for many technologies. To further improve heterogeneous catalysts, it is required to analyze the complex processes on their surfaces, where the active sites are located. Scientists of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), together with colleagues from Spain and Argentina, have now reached decisive progress: As reported in Physical Review Letters, they use calculation methods with so-called hybrid functionals for the reliable interpretation of experimental data. (DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.125.256101).



News_2020_Wie Katalysatoren effizienter arbeiten koennenKIT
How to Make Catalysts More Efficient

Heterogeneous catalysts based on noble metal clusters and particles play an important role in chemical processes and can effectively reduce harmful emissions. However, they are far more dynamic than assumed so far and many of the occurring effects are poorly understood. The German Research Foundation (DFG) now funds a new Collaborative Research Center at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) that is aimed at holistically understanding catalytic processes: “TrackAct – Tracking the Active Site in Heterogeneous Catalysis for Emission Control.”



Noble Metal Clusters Can Enhance Performance of Catalysts and Save Resources

Billions of noble metal catalysts are used worldwide for the production of chemicals, energy generation, or cleaning the air. However, the resources required for this purpose are expensive and their availability is limited. To optimize the use of resources, catalysts based on single metal atoms have been developed. A research team of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) demonstrated that noble metal atoms may assemble to form clusters under certain conditions. These clusters are more reactive than the single atoms and, hence, exhaust gases can be much better removed. The results are reported in Nature Catalysis (DOI: 10.1038/s41929-020-00508-7)



Verleihung der Ehrendoktorwürde Wöll 2019Christof Wöll
On 25th October 2019 Prof. Wöll was awarded the honorary doctoral degree from the University of Southern Denmark.

In honor of his achievments in the development of organic thin films in general and his groundbreaking work on metal-organic frameworks Prof. Wöll was awarded the honorary doctorate from the University of Southern Denmark.



Bild News Schwartz 2019Thomas Schwartz
Nature Scientific Reports: Publication on antibiotic resistance

The comprehensive reduction of clinically relevant antibiotic resistances from treated wastewater is the topic of the publication in NATURE Scientific Research, published by the Department of Microbiology/Molecular Biology under the direction of Prof. Thomas Schwartz. Oxidative and membrane based methods are compared in combination and subsequent microbiological risks are described.


Luftbild Kläranlage Ulm Thomas SchwartzThomas Schwartz
Hazardous waste water: What can be done against more and more harmful germs?

An article on this topic was published in the FAZ of 3.4.2019, which also refers to the investigations of Prof. Dr. Thomas Schwartz, Department of Microbiology/Molecular Biology at the IFG. As part of a BMBF project, various municipal sewage treatments plants are being investigated for the presence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria and their distribution in the environment is being shown. By means of extended treatment processes it is possible to interrupt these distribution pathways. This is also demanded by the WHO and the UN Assembly.

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News November 2018 Homepage IFGProf. Dr. C. Wöll
Organic photovoltaics: More energy through channeling

An ideal material for photon harvesting must allow control of the exciton diffusion length and directionality. This is necessary in order to guide excitons to a reaction center, where their energy can drive a desired process. To reach this goal both of the following are required; short- and long-range structural order in the material and a detailed understanding of the excitonic transport. Here we present a strategy to realize crystalline chromophore assemblies with bespoke architecture.




Auszeichnung HartmutHartmut Gliemann

Dr. Hartmut Gliemann received the award "Best Presentation" for his talk with the title "Reducing the influence of relative humidity on the sensitivity of ZnO-based gas sensors by coating with metal- organic

frameworks" which was given at the HybridSensorNet Symposium 2018, held from 14.11.-15.11.2018 in Karlsruhe .

2018_147_News_IFG_HomepageKIT Presseinformation
New Materials: Growing Polymer Pelts

Vapor Deposition of a Liquid Crystal Layer with Reactive Molecules Provides Customized Nanofibers for Different Applications – Publication in Science - Researchers at the Institute of Functional Interfaces (IFG) of KIT, as well as at the University of Michigan, the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, have now developed a simple and therefore cost-effective process that allows polymer pelts to grow in a self-organized way.


PosterpreisverleihungNorman Hembach
Poster prize

At the conference "Spurenstoffe undKrankheitserreger imWasserkreislauf " of the Dechema Gesellschaft für Chemische Technik und Biotechnologie e.V. on October 23 and 24, 2018 in Frankfurt a.M., Mr. Norman Hembach from the Department of Microbiology / Molecular Biology of the Institute of Functional Interfaces was awarded second place for his poster "Combined advanced processes in wastewater treatment for reduction of antibiotic resistant bacteria".


3_D_Matter_Made_to_order_News_Homepage_englishHartmut Gliemann
Open PhD and postdoc positions need to be occupied at the Institute of Functional Interfaces

In the context of the excellence strategy launched by the federal and state governments within the excellence cluster „3D Matter Made to Order” open PhD and postdoc positions need to be occupied at the Institute of Functional Interfaces. Please contact Prof. Christof Wöll. 


Bild_ News_Homepage _IFG_2018Hartmut Gliemann
Kajal Mallick Memorial Prize

Dr. Hartmut Gliemann and Peter Krolla (Institute of Functional Interfaces) received the Kajal Mallick Memorial Prize“ together with Prof. Christina Wege (University of Stuttgart) and her group in London. The prize was awarded by the “Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) Publishing” to the paper with the title “RNA-stabilized protein nanorings: high-precision adapters for biohybrid design” ( as best paper published in 2017 in the ICE Science journals of research in the field of “Bioinspired, Biomimetic and Nanobiomaterials. 


A9R1ahaxam_1v2287f_3g0Privatbild Thomas Schwartz
Entry of antibiotic-resistant bacteria into public waters - a danger?

Prof. Dr. Thomas Schwartz conducts research on antibiotic-resistant bacteria at the IFG and talks in an interview about hygiene and the danger of colonization.


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IFG News_Homepage_Facettenreiche Nanopartikel.jpg
Multifaceted cerium oxide nanoparticles

Using carbon monoxide as a probe molecule and infrared reflection absorption spectroscopy (IRRAS), irregularities could be detected on ceroxide nanorods, which probably explain their high catalytic activity.


MOFs (SURMOFs) as light switched proton conductors for chemical sensors and fuel cells

Small-scale frameworks made of metallic nodes and organic connecting elements are true all-rounders: By combining different materials and varying the pore size and shape, the MOFs (Metal-Organic Frameworks) can be tailored to different applications.




Posterpreis Rogall Webseite IFGEike Rogall
Poster Prize

At the symposium "Umweltrisiken in der Wasserforschung- Inter- und transdisziplinäre Bewertung und Perspektiven" des Wassernetzwerks Baden-Württemberg 2018 in Karlsruhe, the poster "Metformin im Abwasser beeinflusst die Vitalität von Bachforellen über Veränderungen im Fisch-Mikrobiom" presented by Dipl. Biol. Eike Thorben Rogall from the workgroup of Prof. Dr. Schwartz get rewarded with a poster prize.

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Ceria Nanoparticles: It Is the Surface that Matters

New findings on the structure of catalysts and photocatalysts enable targeted further development of catalysts and photocatalysts - Three publications in the journal Angewandte Chemie


news_homepage_MOF_Gerueste_fungieren _als_Webstuehle
Metal-organic Frameworks Used as Looms

Researchers of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) have made major progress in the production of two-dimensional polymer-based materials. To produce cloths from monomolecular threads, the scientists used SURMOFs, i.e. surface-mounted metal-organic frameworks, developed by KIT.


Bild Gerdes Himmel Malsch Rastatter Tageblatt
Town of Malsch turns into a living laboratory

In the summer of 2016 a new project of the Institute of Functional Interfaces (IFG) of KIT and the Helmholtz Association of German Research Centers piqued the interest of Elmar Himmel, the mayor of the town of Malsch. The project "Prevention in construction" aims at prolonging the service life of infrastructure as bridges, streets, and buildings.

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News_2016_Woell_Licht_oeffnet_und schliesst_Fenster_in_Membranen
Light Opens and Closes Windows in Membranes

Researchers of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) and Universität Hannover developed novel membranes, whose selectivity can be switched dynamically with the help of light. For this purpose, azobenzene molecules were integrated into membranes made of metal-organic frameworks (MOFs). Depending on the irradiation wavelength, these azobenzene units in the MOFs adopt a stretched or angular form. In this way, it is possible to dynamically adjust the permeability of the membrane and the separation factor of gases or liquids. The results are reported in Nature Communications. (DOI:10.1038/ncomms13872)


Biodegradable Polymer Coating for Implants

Medical implants often carry surface substrates that release active substances or to which biomolecules or cells can adhere better. However, degradable gas-phase coatings for degradable implants, such as surgical suture materials or scaffolds for tissue culturing, have been lacking so far. In the journal Angewandte Chemie, researchers of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (under the aegis of Prof. Dr. Lahann) now present a polymer coating that is degraded in the body together with its carrier.



Posterpreis Kratzer 2016
Poster Prize

At the Jahrestagung der Gesellschaft für Biomaterialien 2016 in Aachen, the Poster entiteled "Nanostructured multifunctional polymer films as hematopoietic stem cell culture substrates" presented by Domenic Kratzer from the workgroup of Dr. Cornelia Lee-Thedieck got rewarded with a poster prize.



Two Become One: How to Turn Green Light Blue

Metal-Organic Frameworks with a Piggyback Structure Open up New Possibilities for Solar Cells and LEDs. Researchers at KIT now showed for the first time that the inner interfaces between surface-mounted metal-organic frameworks (SURMOFs) are suited perfectly for this purpose.



Durable prostheses and implants

A crystalline layer of hydroxyapatite can form a pressure- and tension-resistant bond to bones or teeth. Scientists from the Institute of Functional Interfaces (IFG) at the KIT have succeeded in growing layers of hydroxyapatite on silicon surfaces.


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High awards for chemists of the IFG

Dr. Lars Heinke was awarded the Lecturer Prize of the "Fond der Chemischen Industrie" at the beginning of May. Heinke is investigating thin films of metal-organic framework (MOF) compounds, focusing on remote-controlled MOF materials, which are realized by using light-switchable molecules as building units for the MOF materials.


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News_Woell_vant_Hoff_Preis_2016C.Wöll v D. A. Lueckstaedt
High awards for chemist of the IFG

At the beginning of May, Prof. Dr. Christof Wöll was awarded the van't Hoff Prize of the German Bunsen Society for Physical Chemistry. The award recognizes his important contributions to the understanding of organic thin films, to the chemistry of oxidic interfaces and in particular to the
characterization of surface-supported metal-organic networks (SURMOFs).


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Infrastructure – Prevention Is Better than Cure

Helmholtz Association and KIT Start the Innovation Hub “Prevention in Construction” / Industry, Administration, and Science Want to Extend Lifecycles of Roads and Buildings.


Do multi-resistant germs spread through waste water?

The team of Prof. Thomas Schwartz investigates the pathways of antibiotic-resistant bacteria and antibiotic resistance genes into the aquatic environment and evaluates technical methods to interrupt the spread of these bacteria. The feedback back to humans through contact with water, waste water or in hospitals will also be investigated (microbial dissemination).



Proteins in the wash cycle

How Prof. Matthias Franzreb and ANDRITZ KMPT GmbH intend to change the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries with swirling magnetic particles.

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Reducing costs in semiconductor manufacturing

Mineral layer enables high doping densities of semiconductors and simplifies the production process.

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Arrived in the community:

Spektrum der Wissenschaft publishes articles on porphyrin-based highly ordered surface-anchored metal-organic frameworks (SURMOFs) used as solar cells.


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Startseite_news_Detektor fuer Phosphor
Detector for phosphorus

KIT scientists are developing an automatable detection method for phosphorus that does not require the use of chemicals.


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Biology and Technology Episode 6: Reactors from the 3-D printer

In episode 6 of the KIT video series " Biology and Technology ", Prof. Matthias Franzreb tells Carsten how reactors can be produced with the help of a 3-D printer and what these reactors are capable of.






Jonas Wohlgemuth Jurypreis BW-Forschungtag 2015
First 3-D printing competition at the Baden-Württemberg Research Day Foundation

The Jury Prize at the 3D printing competition goes to Siegfried Hohmann and Jonas Wohlgemuth.




First Solar Cell Made of Highly Ordered Molecular Frameworks

New Material Based on Metal-organic Frameworks (MOFs) Is Suited for Photovoltaics/Publication in the Journal Angewandte Chemie International Edition


Pseudoparticles Travel through Photoactive Material

KIT Scientists Measure Important Process in the Conversion of Light Energy.


Departure to the unknownKIT
Departure to the unknown

How Christof Wöll and Hartmut Gliemann are pioneering a new molecular platform technology.

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Dr. Schwartz
Appointment as honorary professor

The Rector of the Mannheim University of Applied Sciences appoints Dr. rer. nat. Thomas Schwartz as honorary professor.


SURMOF based „Designer Solids“ as Photonic Nanomaterials for Optical and LHs Applications.


Freie Poren für  MolekültransportKIT / IFG
Free Pores for Molecule Transport

Researchers Identify Cause of Surface Barriers of Metal-Organic Frameworks (MOFs) – Relevant to Gas Storage.


Polymer Coatings Based on Molecular Structures

KIT Researchers Developing a Novel Gel for Biological and Medical Applications


Leopoldina WoellKIT/Markus Breig

Prof. Dr. Christof Wöll is a new member of the Leopoldina


Large Pores

KIT Researchers Develop New Method to Produce Metal-organic Frameworks


Porous store for biomolecules

Metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) provide plenty of space for proteins and chiral compounds.


Processes at the Surface of Catalysts

Using Infrared Spectroscopy, Scientists Detect that Oxygen Defects Act as Active Centers



Rack SystemsKIT
Flexible Rack Systems Sort Molecules

Researchers Develop New Process with Porous Molecular Organic Frameworks (MOFs)


Towards a More Efficient Use of Solar Energy

Fundamental Findings about the Processes in Photoelectrochemical Cells.


Abgeschlossene Projekte IFG
Finished projects

Savy + SURMOF-EU Projekt