Clusters of Excellence

News of November 20, 2017

The HZDR is currently involved in four draft proposals for Clusters of Excellence of the TU Dresden:

vergoldete DNA-Röhren

Scientists in the team of PD Dr. Artur Erbe conducted electricity through DNA-based nanowires by placing gold-plated nanoparticles on them. Picture: HZDR │ istockphoto.com │ nmlfd, kynny, Pixabay.com │whilhei, Freepik │kjpargeter

In total, the German Research Foundation (DFG) selected six out of eight draft proposals by the TU Dresden on September 29, 2017. Now, the researchers can roll up their sleeves and get to work to prepare the full proposals. The Helmholtz Association will initially grant the HZDR 350,000 euros per proposal as support for the writing, defense and kick-off phase. This grant from the Initiative and Networking Fund will generally help to strengthen cooperation between Helmholtz and universities. To this end, the HZDR will contribute funds equal to the amounts raised. The money will be used to finance workshops, pre-evaluation by external experts, or infrastructure as well as staff to prepare the full proposals. The deadline for this is February 2018, and in the spring and summer the DFG will invite applicants to defend the proposals. Funding for another two years by the Helmholtz Association is in the offing for successful Excellence proposals by the TU Dresden with HZDR participation.

Link to the respective webpage of TU Dresden


cfaed: Center for Advancing Electronics Dresden

The cfaed has been supported as an Excellence Cluster since 2012 in connection with the Excellence Initiative. It researches innovative electronics for information processing. Its aims are to achieve devices with smaller dimensions, higher speeds, increased energy efficiency, reduced costs and new functions.

PD Dr. Artur Erbe: “The cfaed takes the traditional strengths of the Dresden research environment in the development of new materials and systems as the basis for research into innovative electronics. It focuses on new materials with properties unlike those of conventional semiconductors in order to realize new functions. The team working on this challenge is strongly interdisciplinary and connects a large number of university and non-university institutions, including the HZDR. This opens up new opportunities for pioneering developments in electronics that would otherwise be impossible with individual projects.”

DCM: Dresden Center for Materiomics 

Prof. Sibylle Gemming: “The planned DCM Cluster: Dresden Center for Materiomics, joins scientists and engineers at the TU Dresden and their partners in the DRESDEN-concept alliance by the vision of creating programmable materials. DCM follows the spirit: from bit to atom to system, or more succinctly, ‘from bit to it’. Four experimental focus tracks span research from the atomic to the application scales. In addition, the DCM has a strongly research-data oriented component, which will be supported by the Helmholtz and HZDR funding. The results of numerical simulations and analytical techniques will be used to create a data architecture that explores the “material’s genome” as the starting point for novel adaptive material and system solutions that are both robust and self-sufficient.”

ct.qmat: Complexity and Topology in Quantum Materials

Prof. Jochen Wosnitza: “In the planned cluster ct.qmat, scientists from Würzburg and Dresden cooperate to investigate novel states of matter. In particular, they focus on materials whose observed properties and functions are driven by quantum mechanical interactions at the atomic level. Topological effects increasingly play an important role for these materials. Besides a fundamental understanding of quantum materials, another goal of the research alliance, in which the Dresden High Magnetic Field Laboratory figures prominently, is to control the materials’ functions as a basis for future applications.”

PoL: Physics of Life

Prof. Karim Fahmy: “Life processes are divided into chemical and physical sub-processes that take place in spatially separate reaction chambers (compartments) of every cell. Contrary to what was previously thought, compartmentalization is not always achieved by means of biological membranes. Researchers in Dresden have discovered drop formations as a new physical compartmentalization process in cytoplasm. Such separation of liquid phases is involved, for example, in determining the axes of symmetry in organisms. The HZDR is helping to elucidate the dielectric properties and the structural role of water in such biomolecular liquid phases through the use of pulsed intense terahertz radiation at the ELBE Center for High-Power Radiation Sources.”