Selected Offers and Areas of Expertise

How do complex liquids and soft matter behave under the influence of external forces? How dependent are the properties and functions of macromolecular materials, such as starch or protein molecules, on their inner structure and molecular processes? We attempt to answer these and other challenging questions which span the fields of physics, chemistry and biology.

To this end, we develop and employ a wide range of the most advanced instruments, experimental approaches and theoretical methods for our research. In collaborations with leading research facilities and companies in industry, we are able to share our knowledge and also pass it on to the next generation of young scientists in the form of lectures, study programmes and summer schools.

Below, you can find a selection of the facilities, activities and educational events on offer. Further details are given on the websites of the individual institutes.

Methods and Infrastructure



Synchrotron Scattering

We use synchrotron X-ray beamlines at the storage rings PETRA-III (Hamburg) and ESRF (Grenoble) to determine the structure of soft materials and proteins. We develop specialized sample environments including shear cells and microfluidic devices together with in-situ spectroscopic techniques for fast time-resolved in-situ X-ray scattering experiments.




Softcomp started out as a Network of Excellence (NoE), supported by the EU with the aim of creating a sound knowledge base for the intelligent design of functional composite soft matter materials on the nanoscale.



EUSMI (European Soft Matter Infrastructure) is the European infrastructure project for soft matter (in the Horizon 2020 EU program), is coordinated by IBI-4. A total of fifteen European partners pool their facilities for undertaking physical studies on soft matter, for developing and synthesizing new materials and computer simulations, and will make this infrastructure available to external scientists for their research work.

Educational Programmes and Events


International Helmholtz Research School of Biophysics and Soft Matter

The International Helmholtz Research School of Biophysics and Soft Matter (IHRS BioSoft) offers excellent research opportunities for students working on their doctoral thesis.


IFF Spring School

The Spring Schools organized in Jülich for young scientists have been a regular event for more than 50 years, with a changing focal point each year featuring up-to-the-minute research taken from solid state physics, so-called “soft matter” physics, and biophysics.


Jülich Soft Matter Days

Central to these annual workshops are varying topics from soft matter research at the interface of physics, chemistry, biology and the life sciences.

Last Modified: 12.04.2022