Major projects/scientific initiatives


Scientists of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) want to develop a fundamentally new solar cell concept in the project "Novel liquid-applied ceramic solar cells" (KeraSolar). In doing so, they combine research on photovoltaics with ceramic functional materials in order to bundle the advantages of different solar cell technologies: The printability of organic solar cells, the long-term stability of crystalline solar cells, and the ferroelectricity of perovskites.

One of the most important pillars of future CO2-neutral energy supply is solar energy. Solar cells can collect it and convert it into usable electrical energy. Over the next six years, KIT researchers will work on a completely new material concept for solar cells in the project "Novel liquid-applied ceramic solar cells" (KeraSolar) funded by the Carl Zeiss Foundation with 4.5 million euros. In this project, the Bräse working group synthesizes new organic semiconductors that can be used as charge transport layers.

Click here for the KIT press release.


3D Matter Made to Order

The Cluster of Excellence 3D Matter Made to Order (3DMM2O) is a joint initiative of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) and the University of Heidelberg. The main task of the cluster is to take 3D additive manufacturing to the next level.

3D Additive Manufacturing, or simply "3D printing", has the potential to change our world in the 21st century as much as Gutenberg's moving "2D printing" did in the 15th century. 3D Additive Manufacturing transforms information - a digital blueprint - directly and quickly into physical objects.

This technology dramatically reduces time to market, allows customization at no additional cost, overcomes the limitations of standard machining, and puts the production of materials, objects and functional devices out of the hands of a few factory owners and into the hands of many who have access to desktop 3D printing capabilities. At the macro level, 3D additive manufacturing of polymers and metals is already a global megatrend.

The cluster "3D Matter Made to Order" (3DMM2O) aims at bringing 3D Additive Manufacturing from the macro scale to the micro, nano, and finally to the molecular scale and to apply these technologies in three selected application areas. The focus of the Bräse working group is on research area A: Molecular Materials.

The research focus is on the limited self-assembly of molecular units into macroscopic objects and the provision of functional macromolecular inks and resists for 3D laser printing. With the programmed production of functional materials, Research Area A "Molecular Materials" forms the basis of the 3DMM2O cluster. The three thrusts of research area A are: Molecular units (A1), crystalline molecular assemblies (A2) and advanced macromolecular resists (A3). Prof. Dr. Stefan Bräse acts as spokesperson of the sub-area A1.

Members of the 3DMM2O cluster are Dr. Salma Begum, Dr. Zahid Hassan, Yannick Matt, Hannes Kühner, Evelyne Kwiatkowski, Simon Oßwald, Christoph Schissler und Lisa Schmidt.


3MET: Collaborative Research Centre for cutting-edge research in physics and chemistry

In the Transregional Collaborative Research Center (SFB/TRR 88 "3MET"), which was launched on January 1, 2011, groups at the TU Kaiserslautern and the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) are jointly researching cooperative effects in homo- and heterometallic complexes.

A total of nineteen projects have come together under the common theme "Cooperative Effects in Homo- and Heterometallic Complexes (3MET)", divided into the three project areas (a) Magnetism, (b) Synthesis and Catalysis, and (c) Optical Properties and Spectroscopy. In the long term, the scientists hope that their basic research will lead to great potential for applications such as switchable molecular magnets, selective catalysts and optical functional materials. In any case, the starting point is the production of compounds with up to three transition metal atoms and the characterization of their interactions on and with each other.

AK Bräse is particularly involved in Project Area B: Synthesis and Catalysis.

Collaborators in SFB/TRR 88 ("3MET") are Dr. Jasmin Busch, Xuemin Gan, Christoph Schissler and Christoph Zippel.

Further information is available at


Compound Platform (ComPlat)

The Compound Platform (former name: Platform for combinatorial chemistry) ComPlat offers all necessary tools for the parallel and combinatorial synthesis of small molecules to provide single compounds in gram scale as well as small to medium sized compound libraries. In addition, the platform maintains a stock of both internally synthesized and commercially available compound libraries, comprising more than 20,000 compounds in total. The compounds of the stock library are distributed on request to BIFTM groups and to external users for screening purposes. Further information can be found under Compound Platform under Research Interests and on the homepage



The Soft Matter Lab consists of a competence pool of chemistry, including organic chemistry, polymer chemistry and materials chemistry, supported by the expertise of Prof. Stefan Bräse (Institute of Organic Chemistry ), Prof. Patrick Théato (Institute of Chemical Technology and Polymer Chemistry ) and Prof. Jörg Lahann (Institute of Functional Interfaces ).

The main objective of the SoftMatterLab is the intellectual and experimental support of projects at the interface of biology, chemistry and physics. Therefore, the activities of the laboratory include the development of novel synthesis strategies, advanced material design as well as optimization studies and on-demand synthesis within the BIF program. Here, the Bräse working group focuses on the synthesis of biologically relevant complex structures and highly porous structures.

Member of the SoftMatterLab is Dr. Patrick Hodapp.


Research Training Group (GRK) 2039

The core idea of RTG 2039 is to fuse organic chemistry, chemical biology, biophysics, theoretical/physical chemistry and cell biology to develop tailor-made fluorescence probes that enable researchers to answer important biological questions by optical imaging. As a result of the combined efforts of these complementary research areas, the GRK covers the complete evaluation line for fluorescence probes, from design, synthesis and photophysics to bioconjugation and in vivo imaging.

Members of the GRK 2039 are Dr. Claudine Herlan, Gloria Hong, Susanne Kirchner and Roberta Tabone.


BioInterfaces in Technology and Medicine (BIFTM)

The development of innovative approaches to the control of living systems represents a major challenge for biomedicine and biotechnology. The strategies available today often lack the necessary specificity and effectiveness. This is due to our inability to adequately control key functions of our own body and to efficiently manage living systems in artificial environments.

In particular, novel "smart" drugs, cell-based therapies and implants are required for successful therapeutic approaches in regenerative medicine. In addition, innovative strategies are required to prevent the formation of bacterial biofilms in the clinical environment. Similarly, biotechnological applications require innovative intelligent materials and devices for the biomimetic culture of eukaryotic cells and for using the properties of microbial biofilms. Therefore, the overarching challenge of the BioInterfaces in Technology and Medicine (BIFTM) programme is to develop new approaches and new technologies to control living systems. Given the complexity of these systems, a deeper understanding of living systems from the whole organism down to the molecular level is an absolute prerequisite. This requires the development of a powerful analytical technique.