The Doctoral College Advanced Functional Materials (DCAFM) centers around the synthesis, characterization, analysis and theoretical description of novel functional materials, ranging from low-dimensional materials with exotic electronic and optical properties to soft matter systems with tailored mechanical responses to external stimuli.
Studying and understanding the properties of such systems, which hold promise for a wealth of new technological applications in electronic and optical devices, energy storage, and catalysis, not only requires the implementation of high-resolution experimental probes and efficient numerical algorithms, but also intense cooperation of researchers with different but complementary background. For instance, low-dimensional materials such as carbon nanotubes or graphene stand at the crossroad between solid state physics, chemistry of low dimensional molecular structures and materials science, such that expertise in one subfield is insufficient to understand and unravel their properties. Similarly, understanding the complex behavior of soft materials such as polymers and colloidal suspensions necessitates a multiscale approach combining perspectives ranging from electronic structure to mesoscopic physics. The Doctoral College AFM brings together a team of world-class scientists for a training program built on collaborative research at the leading edge, where students receive a comprehensive education on different aspects of advanced functional materials from leaders in the field.