Selection of important databases for chemistry, physics, and technology

Web of Science



Springer Materials

All MPG Databases


The FKF-internal ICSD service has been discontinued on Thursday, 26th April 2018.

Please use the FIZ internet ICSD service at instead.

MPI-FKF members can use the following link for access from outside of the institute:

ICSD via Shibboleth

You can also install a local ICSD instance on your workstation. The installer DVD can be obtained from R. Haunschild, IVS-CPT, 2M11.

Please consider subscribing to the mailing list icsd_fkf_users at:
Primarily, the mailing list is intended to disseminate new information regarding the ICSD database to the users. However, users should feel free to discuss topics related to the database on the mailing list.


Registration Form for SciFindern access via Max Planck Digital Library (MPDL)

Since June 2022, MPG researchers have access to SciFindern. Please see more information on the SciFindern page.

There is a mailing list for SciFinder users of the MPG (scifinder_mpg_users):

Although the primary goal of the mailing list is to disseminate new information about SciFinder, users should feel free to discuss topics related to SciFinder on the mailing list.

Since August 2016, all MPG researchers with SciFinder access have a new resource available: ChemZent (Chemisches Zentralblatt) 1830-1969

Currently, the STN databases (other than CAplus and Registry) are accessible only via service requests to the researchers in the information retrieval service group. CAplus and Registry are available via SciFinder.




New SciFindern online trainings by Dr. K. Faerber and team from May 2023 are available as recordings:


Detailed information regarding the trainings can be found here.

On-site hands-on-training sessions will be organized upon your request. Please contact


SciFinder Support Home


The bibliographic Database Chemical Abstract (CA) is one of the largest scientific databases covering a broad field of literature and patents stretching back to 1900. In addition to the chemical literature it covers physics, material science, biochemistry and genetics, as far as the documents are related to substances.

The separate compound file (REGISTRY) provides access to substances, their names, structures, and registry numbers. In addition proteins and nucleic acid data are indexed providing a unique environment for molecular biologists, e.g. for design of target molecules.

Navigation and retrieval in this complex set of databases is highly demanding. CAS introduced SciFinder, which "knows" a lot about complex issues in chemistry databases and provides an easy access even for non-chemists.

SciFinder on the Web is a Web Client runnning in standard web browsers Firefox and MSIE on (all) operating systems. Please find the system requirements below.
SFWeb will replace the current local SciFinder Client which is no longer developed by CAS.

New: Non-Java Structure Editor and Stand-Alone Structure Editor
There is a new structure editor available, which is no longer Java based, but not all features are implemented at the moment. As fallback in case of browser problems with java plugins, there is a full featured stand alone version of the structure editor for Mac and Windows available: CAS Structure Editor.

Java Problems and SciFinder

Please update your Java runtime and the browser plugin to Sun Java 7U21 or newer!
Java 7U21 changed the security model for Java applets, it is no longer possible to start a unsigned Java applet without approval of the user. Java versions prior 7U17 are susceptible to drive by infections.

In Scifinder you need Java for the structure editor only, because it is implemented as a Java plugin. All other functionality is not based on Java.
Due to reoccuring security problems with Java, Mozilla and Apple changed the way how to activate the Java browser plugin. Prior Version 17.0ESR / 18.0 there was a global switch to activate/deactivate Java for all websites.
From Firefox 17.0.1 / 18.0.1 Mozilla changed the policy for the Java plugin to activation per web site.
Unfortunately the new mechanism didn't work reliable in the first release Firefox 17.0.1ESR

Please note that there are a plethora of combinations of browser, java implementations and operating systems. It is not possible to test every combination, please consider these hints:

  • Please do not use Microsoft Internet Explorer in combination with Java version older than 7U13, there is no reliable way to deactivate the Java plugin in IE.
  • MacOS 10.8.2: Please update to Java 7U21 from, Firefox 17.0.2ESR / Firefox 18.0.1 as well as Safari 6.0.2 will work.
  • MacOS 10.6.8: Java 6U39 will be automatically installed as "Java for Mac OS X 10.6 Update 12" and should work together with Safari. (not tested)
  • The status of free java implementations is unclear, e.g. IcedTea for Linux. It is not known if they are vulnerable or not, but IcedTea works for Scifinder.
  • You can test the java functionality in your web browser on

New: Stand-Alone Structure Editor
As fallback in case of browser problems with java plugins, there are now stand alone versions of the structure editor for Mac and Windows available: CAS Structure Editor.

Technical Requirements

If you have blocked Pop-Up windows in your browser, please add an exception for in order to enable full text linking.

Preferences - Content - Block pop-up windows - Exceptions
Tools - Pop-Up Blocker - Pop-Up Blocker Settings

Please find the detailed system requirements (Browser and OS versions) here.

The following ports have to be open on the firewall for outgoing connections only:

  • port 443 for SSL connections to,
  • port 80 for http connections for full text linkage,

Linux Users:
If you have problems during the startup of SciFinder, please check your installed JAVA runtime version.
Most open source JAVA implementations, e.g. IcedTea, suffer from problems with loading of remote JAVA applets, please revert to the original Sun JAVA implementation.


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