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Leibniz Award for Prof. Oliver G. Schmidt

Chemnitz nano scientist will receive the most important research award in Germany in March 2018

University of Technology, and Director of the Institute for Integrative Nanosciences at the Leibniz Institute for Solid State and Materials Research Dresden, will receive the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Award next year. This was announced by the main committee of the German Research Foundation (DFG) on December 14, 2017, in Bonn, Germany. The award is the most important research award in Germany. The prize is endowed with 2.5 million euros, intended to provide a high degree in freedom of research and future research activities. Schmidt is one of eleven award-winners of the Wilhelm Gottfried Leibniz Award and will receive his prize in March 2018. The eleven winners were selected by the responsible nomination committee of the DFG out of 136 proposals. For the first time, this award goes to a scientist of Chemnitz University of Technology. Prof. Gerd Strohmeier, Chemnitz University President, is delighted about the recent Leibniz Award winner. “I congratulate our Chemnitz colleague Oliver Schmidt most warmly to his extraordinary success”, said Strohmeier.

According to the DFG, the Leibniz Award honors Schmidt’s extraordinary work in research, production, and innovative application of functional nanostructures. The graduate physicist is a pioneer in the field of convoluted nanotubes and operates interdisciplinary in the fields of physics, chemistry, materials sciences, electronic engineering, and micro system technology. He currently works on the integration of self-organized, three-dimensional nanostructures on a chip. For this purpose he developed a technique, which allows versatile structuring of the materials in three dimensions by straining nanometer thin layers. Schmidt transferred the fundamental results of his research works in numerous new applications in the fields of photonics, sensor technology, medical science, and environmental proces engineering. This includes the production of micro motors, ring resonators, optofluidic sensors, and capacitors.

A development of Schmidt and his group recently gained worldwide attention under the term “Spermbots”. They equipped single bovine sperm cells with magnetic microstructures and micro motors and thus created a completely new way of artificial insemination and drug delivery. His strive for universal autonomous micro and nanosystems has stimulated various strategies worldwide to implement functional and most efficient components into either biological, artificial, and/or hybrid robotic species.

About: Oliver G. Schmidt

Oliver G. Schmidt graduated in 1999 at the Berlin University of Technology and worked subsequently as research assistant at the Max-Planck-Institute for Solid State Research in Stuttgart. After a research stay at the University of Southern California, he returned to Stuttgart as head of a research group and later received his postdoctoral lecture qualification at the University of Hamburg. In 2007, he obtained a full professorship of Material Systems for Nanoelectronics at Chemnitz University and simultaneously accepted the director position for the Institute for Integrative Nanosciences at the Leibniz Institute for Solid State and Materials Research Dresden.

Keyword: Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Award

The Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Award is annually presented by the German Research Foundation (DFG) since 1986. Every year, up to ten prizes with an award sum of respectively 2.5 million euros can be awarded. Including the ten prizes of 2018, altogether 358 Leibniz Awards have already been awarded. 118 to Natural Sciences, 103 to Life Sciences, 82 to Humanities and Social Sciences, and 55 to Engineering Sciences. As prize and prize money can be shared in exceptional cases, the number of award winners is higher than of the prizes. All in all 358 nominees received the award, including 333 scientists and 52 female scientists. The Leibniz Award 2018 will be presented on March 19, 2018, in Berlin.

Contact: Prof. Oliver G. Schmidt, phone +49 371 33432, email

(Translation: Alissa Hölzel)

Matthias Fejes

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