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Walther-Meißner-Institut (WMI), Bayerische Akademie der Wissenschaften
Chair for Technical Physics (E23), Technische Universität München

Excellent Research at WMI:
Cluster of Excellence "Nanosystems Initiative Munich (NIM)" has been granted


Oktober 17, 2006

NIM Logo
The cluster “Nanosystems Initiative Munich (NIM)” is one of the Clusters of Excellence, which have been selected on October 13, 2006 by the German government's “Excellence Initiative”. In the cluster of excellence Nanosystems Initiative Munich (NIM), scientists from various research facilities in the Munich area in the fields of physics, biophysics, physical chemistry, biochemistry, pharmaceuticals, biology, electronics and medicine work together. The goal is to design, produce and control a series of artificial and multifunctional nanosystems. Ultimately the researchers wish to create interconnected and interactive networks of artificial nanomodules. The cluster is coordinated by J.P. Kotthaus (CeNS, LMU Munich) and G. Abstreiter (WSI, TU Munich).

Nanosystems are already playing a major role in information technology: the electronic components in computers and communication technology are becoming smaller and smaller. However, this development cannot go on forever, once the nanometer scale has been reached. At that level, novel physical phenomena often arise that may present potential problems for conventional uses – and an opportunity for innovations and new applications.

Micro- and nanoystems are also becoming increasingly important in the life sciences and medicine. They can be introduced to living organisms, for instance to bring a cancer medication to tumor cells. "Programmed drug delivery" is therefore one of the ten research sections at the NIM excellence cluster. Other sub-sections focus on quantum phenomena in nanosystems, connecting nanosensors to living cells and "lab on a chip" applications. This brings together the main functions of a chemistry laboratory onto a chip the size of a thumbnail. With LMU Munich as coordinating university, the cluster of excellence also involves the Munich University of Technology (TUM), the University of Augsburg, the Munich University of Applied Science, the Walther-Meißner-Institute of the Bayerische Akademie der Wissenschaften, the Max-Planck-Institutes for Biochemistry and Quantum Optics and the Deutsches Museum.

The 10 research areas of NIM are: (A) Single electron and spin nanosystems, (B) Nanophotonic systems, (C) Quantum information nanosystems, (D) Nanotransducers, (E) Functional nano-networks, (F) Nanoanalytics and enabling techniques, (G) Nanostructured surfaces and cellsubstrate interaction, (H) Single molecule biophysics, (I) Nanoagents and advanced cell imaging, (J) Programmed drug delivery. The Walther-Meißner-Institute actively participates in the research program of NIM in the research areas A (single electron and spin nanosystems), C (quantum information nanosystems), and F (nanoanalytics and enabling techniques). Rudolf Gross of Walther-Meißner-Institute is member of the coordination board of NIM.