Current Research Foci

Experimentelle Physik

On the basis of a tradition in physical chemistry and statistical physics represented by scientists such as Peter Debye, the Peter Debye Institute for Soft Matter Physics (formerly Institute for Experimental Physics I) has become an international renowned focal point for soft matter physics and its applications in biological physics, thereby developing and utilizing predominately photonic techniques. On the molecular scale the institute’s research is entrenched in the thermal and driven dynamics of macromolecules such as DNA and cytoskeletal filaments (Kremer, Käs, Seidel) and of nano- as well as microcobjects such as microswimmers (Cichos). Understanding soft matter from the bottom up has a defining moment on the active and passive material properties of biological cells (Käs, Mierke). Consequentially, the institute has a pioneering role in the Physics of Cancer (Käs, Mierke) acknowledged by leading Cancer Institutes. This research is possible due to ground-breaking technical developments of the institute in areas such as optical trapping (Käs), magnetic tweezing (Seidel), photothermal microscopy and thermal single molecule trapping (Cichos), which led to the founding of start-ups and close ties to national and international industry. The institute has very active collaborations with the Institute for Theoretical Physics at the university (Prof. Klaus Kroy, Prof. Wolfhard Janke, Prof. Ulrich Behn) and is well embedded in the research landscape in Leipzig with close contact to many research institutions in Leipzig and Saxony.


Cooperating Departments


How Maxwell’s Demon Herds Sheep: Information-based Interaction of Artificial Microswimmers


Scientists from the universities in Leipzig and Princeton have found out in experiments how new structures with special properties can emerge through...

"Physics of Cancer": Experts Want to Make Better Predictions about Cancer Development


This year's conference on the physics of cancer cells, "Physics of Cancer", focuses on parallels in the development of embryonic and tumor cells. The...

Storage of the Future: Liquid Polymers Improve Switching Performance of Transistors


In the digital era, huge amounts of data accumulate. This makes it all the more important to make storage available that can work with it quickly and...

Third Soft Matter Day on July 6, 2018


On July 6, 2018, the "Soft Matter Day", organized by the Peter Debye Institute for Soft Matter Physics at the Faculty of Physics and Earth Sciences,...

letzte Änderung: 10.01.2019


Peter Debye Institute for Soft Matter Physics
Linnéstraße 5
04103 Leipzig

Prof. Dr. Frank Cichos

Andrea Kramer
Tel.: +49 (0) 341 97-32 654
Fax: +49 (0) 341 97-32 598