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Institute of Complex Systems (ICS)

At the interface between physics, chemistry and biology fascinating fields of research are rapidly evolving. Here, research is focused on unraveling the basic microscopic and molecular processes underlying soft matter as well as living systems. This results in an ever expanding quantitative understanding of complex systems. The vigorous progress of this research field is fueled by continuous transfer of techniques, methods and materials between both fields and further fanned by emerging applications in nanotechnology, biotechnology and medicine.

Predicting the material properties of functional nanocomposites and tailoring them to specific demands is a visionary aim of soft matter research. At the same time life sciences aim at a quantitative understanding of basic processes in cells by tracing them to molecular interactions and unifying physical principles. On the microscale, living matter is a most functional nanocomposite material. Thus both visions meet and complement ideally.

Researchers from the ICS have direct access to major scientific infrastructure such as high field NMR spectrometers, synchrotron radiation sources, nanotechnology in the Helmholtz Nanoelectronic Facility (HNF), and neutron scattering in the Jülich Center for Neutron Scattering (JCNS).

Managing Director

Prof. Dr. Jan K. G. Dhont (ICS-3)
Deputy: Prof. Dr. Gerhard Gompper (ICS-2 / IAS-2)


Institute of Complex Systems (ICS)