Division Leibniz Competition
Leibniz Association
Chausseestraße 111
10115 Berlin
Tel.: +49 30 / 20 60 49 - 33 or -32

Funding line 1: Innovative Projects

AlN electronics for a new generation of high-power devices (AlPower)

Ferdinand-Braun-Institut, Leibniz-Institut für Höchstfrequenztechnik (FBH), Berlin

Applications such as mobile communications, self-driving cars, energy supply in information technology, and in industrial drive engineering require novel, particularly efficient power and switching transistors. These transistors need to combine high power and voltage with rapid speed — even at frequencies exceeding 20 GHz and high voltages in the 50 volt region. This frequency and voltage range cannot be accessed with common gallium nitride based transistors. Novel aluminum nitride transistors offer a way out, since they enable efficient high-power amplifiers >20 GHz as well as efficient 1200 volt switching converters with unprecedented speeds and power densities. Finally, a 30 GHz prototype delivering 10 watt output power shall be demonstrated that can operate the frequency bands of future mobile communications. Moreover, a particularly compact 400 volt matrix converter for engine monitoring shall be realized.

Period: 1. January 2017 - 31. December 2019

System level analysis of inositol messengers in nutrient signaling

Leibniz-Forschungsinstitut für Molekulare Pharmakologie (FMP), Berlin

In each cell, an enormous communication network is buzzing, which precisely controls what the cell is supposed to do. This communication takes place in a "chemical language" in which chemical messenger substances are specifically synthesised or proteins are chemically modified. Inositol based signaling molecules are ubiquitous in cells and include membrane-bound and freely diffusible messengers. These molecules have essential functions in cell physiology, as evidenced by the multitude of human diseases linked to alterations in inositol metabolism, ranging from diabetes to neurodegeneration and cancer. The analysis of these molecules, however, remains a formidable challenge. Here, a novel transdisciplinary approach is introduced that combines (bio)chemical synthesis of 13C-labeled inositol with metabolic labeling, followed by NMR spectroscopy to enable quantitative detection of cellular inositol species.  In the long term, our approach will find widespread applications and help elucidate the multifaceted effects of inositol messengers in health and disease in vivo.

Period: 1. February 2017 - 31. January 2020

A Molecular Targeting Approach to Combat Human Pathogenic Fungi

Leibniz Institute for Natural Product Research and Infection Biology - Hans Knöll Institute (HKI), Jena

One of the major medicinal challenges is the treatment of diseases caused by human pathogenic fungi. In particular invasive fungal infections caused by Aspergillus and Candida species as well as the Mucorales are considered a public health issue, yet the currently used antifungals may cause several side effects. In the proposed project we wish to address this issue and explore the chemical modification of antifungal agents to greatly reduce or even completely abrogate their adverse side effects.

Period: 1. April 2017 - 31. March 2020

Physics and control of defects in oxide films for adaptive electronics

Leibniz Institute for Crystal Growth (IKZ), Berlin

In information and communication technology, memristors are currently a hot topic. They allow storing information at higher speeds and densities with lower energy consumption and smaller dimensions compared to silicon technology. Their electrical properties are closely linked to the atomic microstructure of the host material, but a detailed understanding of the storage mechanism is still not well established. With crystalline material of highest structural quality at hand and characterization methods allowing monitoring processes on the atomic scale, we have best preconditions to enlighten these issues. This will allow the design of future devices with deliberate electronic properties.

Period: 1. January 2017 - 31. December 2019

New Carbon-Metal Oxide Nanohybrids for Efficient Energy Storage and Water Desalination (CarMON)

Leibniz Institute for Plasma Science and Technology (INP), Greifswald

Nanohybrids based on carbon and metal oxides show outstanding performances in energy storage and water remediation. The establishment of controlled synthesis methods that are environmentally friendly and suitable for large-scale production remains a main challenge facing material science. In CarMON, the Leibniz Institute for Plasma Science and Technologies (INP) and the Leibniz Institute for New Materials (INM) in cooperation with the Max Planck Institut für Eisenforschung (MPIE) will pursue new pathways for controlled synthesis. To this end, the expertise in plasma science, materials and electron microscopy is combined in a unique enabling platform to design new series of nanohybrid materials with advanced electrode properties. The consortium is addressing one of the great challenges in modern nanotechnology, to reveal new insights into still poorly investigated correlation between the energetics and chemical composition in process plasmas, nanoparticle formation and growth dynamics during processing and resulting properties at nanoscale, globally and during electrochemical application.

Period: 1. January 2017 - 31. December 2019

Modelling and developing the plasma-based synthesis of novel multi-component glasses for optical high performance fibers (PlasFaser)

Leibniz Institute of Photonic Technology (IPHT), Jena

Modern fiber-based high performance lasers are used in industrial, computer-controlled manufacturing and processing steps such as welding, cutting and drilling as well as for surgical interventions in medicine. The material basis of these lasers are optical fibers made of quartz glass doped with tiny amounts of different chemical elements. To achieve the necessary high laser powers and beam quality, glasses are needed that exhibit a very homogeneous distribution of the chemical elements and high purity. As existing processes to prepare these materials are limited, researchers from Jena and Greifswald employ a new technological approach. The aim of the project is to develop an innovative microwave plasma process for preparation of high-quality optical fibers. The technique enables the adjustment of many different parameters during the preparation of chemically doped glasses thereby producing fibers with yet unknown quality.

Period: 1. April 2017 - 31. March 2020

Iron-based catalysts for sustainable valorisation of CO2, CH4 and N2

Leibniz Institute for Catalysis e.V. at the University of Rostock (LIKAT)

In view of their availability and particularly sustainability, methane (CH4), carbon dioxide (CO2), and nitrogen (N2) are the most promising green feedstock for the chemical industry. They are, however, chemically inert and require a strong input of energy for their conversion into value-added products. With the help of catalysis, the acceleration of chemical reactions involving catalysts, such transformations can occur under milder conditions. The goal of this project is to develop innovative strategies for the design of highly performing catalysts, which ultimately lead to an increase in product yields and help to avoid formation of by-products and to reduce the specific energy requirement. The catalysts will be developed on the basis of the environmentally friendly element iron. The catalyst design is supported by kinetic and mechanistic investigations as well as by a comprehensive catalyst characterization.

Period: 1. April 2017 - 31. March 2020

Mentoring of Refugees (MORE): an intervention study on integrating refugees through a civil society mentoring program

German Institute for Economic Research Berlin (DIW)

What kind of impact do civil society integration programs have on the short- and long-term integration of refugees? The first reliable answers to this question will come via the "Mentoring of Refugees (MORE)" intervention study. For this investigation, scientists from the Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) research infrastructure facility at DIW Berlin and the Institute for Employment Research (IAB) in Nuremberg will analyze a mentoring program in which refugees form friendships with volunteer mentors. The goal of this program is to make it easier for refugees to integrate into the host society.

This controlled field-experimental intervention is integrated into SOEP's long-term observation of refugees and supplemented by additional survey and in-depth interview information on mentoring relationships. As part of the MORE project, researchers will focus on the extent to which the development of such social networks has a causal influence on language skills, the search for employment, and other dimensions of successful integration. All data collected as part of the project, as well as the corresponding analyses, will be available to researchers all over the world as well as the general public.

Period: 1. January 2017 - 31. December 2019

DiSeMiNation - Digging into Sediments and Microbes for Nature conservation: Identifying the drivers of ecosystem processes for spatial conservation planning

Leibniz Centre for Tropical Marine Research (ZMT), Bremen

Through providing numerous ecosystem services, mangroves contribute to the livelihood and survival of inhabitants of tropical coastal regions, and they protect their homes from erosion and storm surges. Even more importantly, mangroves store potentially climate-active gases and thus act in mitigating the ongoing climate change. Many of their ecosystem services are — directly or indirectly — driven by the microbial community of the mangrove sediment.

The use of natural resources by local human societies is not always sustainable and may have negative impacts on the provision of ecosystem services. Through a global comparison of different types of mangroves by means of up-to-date methods of biology, chemistry and social sciences, this project aims at linking mangrove ecology and socio-economy. Hence, we want to shed light on how the local flora and fauna, as well as their utilization by humans, affect the sediment microbiota and thus eventually central ecosystem services. According to our findings, we provide science- and knowledge-based recommendations for protecting and managing these valuable but threatened ecosystems to decision-makers.

Period: 1. April 2017 - 31. March 2020