Paul-Drude-Institut für Festkörperelektronik, Leibniz-Institut im Forschungsverbund Berlin e.V.

The institute plays a pathfinding role in pushing the outermost frontiers of materials and nanoscale devices for solid-state electronics and photonics. This exploratory work is firmly grounded on PDI’s expertise in molecular beam epitaxy (MBE), a materials growth technique with extraordinary control and precision on the atomic scale in which PDI belongs to the world-leading institution.

In a lively symbiosis between materials science and solid-state physics, PDI investigates the fundamentals of epitaxial growth, novel inorganic materials and nanoscale heterostructures at the same time exploring the quantum physics of such structures with regard to innovative device concepts.

Research Focus

Solid-state electronics and photonics have enabled much of the technological progress that shaped our society in the 20th century and which now affects everyday life in countless ways. To a large extent this progress is due to the continuous development of semiconductor technologies, most evidently in information technology.

As can be illustrated by recent and emerging trends, such developments critically require the employment of novel materials and novel physics: In microelectronics, an increase in functionality and continuous cost-reduction has far a long time been possible by miniaturization of integrated circuits. Further advances however require the incorporation of a wide range of novel materials including novel semiconductor nanostructures. Beyond today’s technological mainstream, exciting perspectives are seen in a number of entirely novel materials with a range of unique and sometimes even spectacular physical properties. Prominent examples are two-dimensionally layered materials, wide bandgap oxide semiconductors or phase change materials. They show great potential of generating unprecedented functionalities, ranging from extremely low power logic devices to high-voltage switches for electric vehicles and to non-volatile, universal electronic memory units. Another fascinating trend is related to an inherent combination of novel materials and physical effects in the so-called “quantum materials”. Being related to materials mentioned above, they promise the realization of robust quantum states which may exist at ambient conditions and form essential building blocks for quantum technologies, such as quantum information, quantum cryptography and quantum sensing. This “second quantum revolution” is predicted to have an impact far beyond that of the classical supercomputers of today and tomorrow.


Professor Dr. Roman Engel-Herbert

Ph. +49 30 20377-365




Total budget (in million euro)


Institutional Funding


Third-Party Funding


As of 31 December 2023


Hausvogteiplatz 5-7, 10117 Berlin