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


Physicists Invite to the "Soft Matter Day"


The Peter Debye Institute for Soft Matter Physics organizes the second "Soft Matter Day" on 23 June 2017. It aims at intensifying the scientific...

Humboldt-Stipendiat Viktor Holubec erforscht Mikroschwimmer


Magister und Scholaren von der Prager Karlsuniversität waren es, die vor 608 Jahren die Gründung der Universität Leipzig zuwege brachten. Mit dem...

Biophysiker lüftet Geheimnisse der Krebszelle – ERC-Advanced-Grant für Prof. Dr. Josef Alfons Käs


Welche Eigenschaften muss eine Krebszelle haben, damit sie im Körper metastieren kann? – Diese Frage bewegt Prof. Dr. Josef Alfons Käs bereits seit...

Der Physiker an der Gen-Schere – ERC-Grant-Gewinner Ralf Seidel im Porträt


Er forscht an einer der aktuell vielversprechendsten Methoden in der Medizin: Ralf Seidel, Professor für Molekulare Biophysik an der Universität...

letzte Änderung: 01.09.2017


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


04.–06.10.2017: Physics of Cancer