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Research Centre
Laboratory of Nano and Quantum Engineering

Photo: Forschungsgebäude des LNQE

The Laboratory of Nano and Quantum Engineering (LNQE) is an interdisciplinary Leibniz Research Centre of Leibniz Universität Hannover operating in the field of nanotechnology. Its substantive objectives are to conduct excellent basic research as well as application-oriented engineering at the nanoscale, accompanied by appropriate cross-disciplinary training. In most cases, nanotechnology projects can only be realised successfully in collaboration with different subject areas. This interdisciplinary approach is pursued at LNQE. A total of 27 working groups from the fields of physics, chemistry and engineering currently operate at LNQE.

Research priorities

Nanotechnology describes the study and manipulation of tiny-sized objects. It deals with structures ranging in size from 1 to 100 nanometres in at least one spatial direction. 100 nanometres are roughly one thousandth of the diameter of a standard human hair. With these small dimensions, surface properties increasingly come to the fore compared with the bulk properties of materials. In addition, quantum physical effects must often be taken into account.

Nanoengineering is engineering at the nanoscale, i.e. the selective artificial production of nanotechnology structures such as tiny transistors on computer chips. The term 'quantum engineering', which is closely related to nanoengineering, aims at producing and manipulating a defined quantum state, such as the realisation of a Bose-Einstein condensate or an electronic component with controllable electron spin. The size of such systems is also often in the nanometre range.

The artificially created structures and materials are investigated in a variety of ways and analysed. Nanoanalytics, i.e. analytics in the nanometre range, requires all kinds of state-of-the-art equipment and techniques. The necessary technological equipment is available to the working groups at a central location in the LNQE research building. It is complemented by the equipment available in the respective institutes.

Nanomaterials are materials in all kinds of shapes and compositions in the nanometre range. Such materials are produced and explored at LNQE in numerous different ways. Individual particles of nanomaterials, often referred to as nanoparticles, have special chemical and physical properties due to their small dimensions. These differ from the properties of macroscopic particles and solids. This is due to the surface area-to-volume ratio of nanoparticles. In addition to their higher reactivity (compared to bulk materials), quantum mechanical effects are highly significant in many cases. The work performed at LNQE focuses on the production of nanoparticles with controllable properties, the utilisation of nanoparticles for certain applications and the fundamental physical understanding of nanoparticles and how they function.

The conversion, transport and storage of energy are fundamental issues for the future of our society. Exploring these processes at the nanoscale is the key research activity of the LNQE PhD programme "Hannover School for Nanotechnology". Nanotechnology plays an increasingly important role in sensor technologies. In short, nanosensors can be defined as sensors with nanoscale surfaces; sensors that transfer information from the nanoscopic to the macroscopic world; and sensors that use nanoeffects as the sensor principle.

Research Building

In order to achieve these objectives, LNGE operates its own research building in Hannover. The laboratories, the research clean room and the office space for more than 44 people are used for interdisciplinary projects, in particular for large third party-funded projects successfully acquired by its members. The new construction was financed with federal funds, following a recommendation by the German Council of Science and Humanities (under Article 91b of the German Basic Law). Construction of the research building enabled large-scale equipment to be installed, including a molecular beam epitaxy system, a transmission electron microscope, an implanter and a 4-point STM/SEM.

Degree course in Nanotechnology

In the Nanotechnology degree course, initiated by LNQE, students learn about foundations in the core subjects of chemistry, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering and physics (complemented by mathematics), taking into account the requirements arising from nanotechnology. Even at the Bachelor stage, students gain in-depth knowledge of a core subject in both the natural sciences and engineering. On the Master’s programme, students can choose from a wide selection of optional fields of expertise, enabling them to gain the skills required to work in contemporary fields of research in nanotechnology. The Lower Saxony doctoral programme Hannover School for Nanotechnology enables interdisciplinary training to be continued systematically at the PhD level.


Chief Operating Officer

Dr. Fritz Schulze Wischeler
Laboratory of Nano and Quantum Engineering
Schneiderberg 39
D - 30167 Hannover

Tel. +49 511 762 - 16014
E-mail Schulze-Wischelerlnqe.uni-hannover.de 

Speaker of the Executive Board

Prof. Dr. Peter Behrens
Institute of Inorganic Chemistry
Callinstr. 9
D - 30167 Hannover

Tel. +49 511 762 - 3660
E-mail peter.behrensacb.uni-hannover.de