Dr. Simon Krause receives CZS Nexus Award from Carl Zeiss Foundation

for fundamental interdisciplinary research on dynamic nanoporous solids.

February 17, 2022

Dr. Simon Krause, Group Leader at the Nanochemistry Department, has been awarded 1.5 million € in funding by the Carl Zeiss Foundation. He conducts research at the intersection of chemistry, physics and engineering with an emphasis on dynamics on the molecular level. His project “Activated transport and dynamic heterogeneous catalysis in molecular factories” which was awarded the CZS Nexus Award draws inspiration from biological system which can be considered as a complex yet strikingly efficient factory made up from an assembly of collectively operating molecular machines.

“It is fascinating how even the smallest cells function and live based on a complex and finely tuned assembly of dynamically operating molecular species and reaction networks.” Says Dr. Krause about the inspiration of his interdisciplinary research. “Bringing such aspects of living organism into artificial solids is a new approach to overcome limits in functionality of classical static solid materials. I want to construct artificial molecular factories as solid-state materials by incorporating molecular machines in the backbone of nanoporous framework materials and study their behavior on a spatial and temporal level. In essence I want to teach artificial solids some tricks of nature.”

In recent years Dr. Krause has already made important contributions to the field of dynamic framework materials. During his PhD at Technische Universität Dresden he discovered the adsorption phenomenon of negative gas adsorption in a series of flexible metal-organic frameworks. During his Post-Doc he entered the field of molecular machines and switches at the University of Groningen and was able to establish light-responsive porous frameworks. The establishment of molecular factories is considered a new research field with many potential implications for other research areas in the field of nanoporous solids and framework materials.

The Max Planck Institute for Solid State Research provides a world-class research environment and infrastructure for solid-state research. The research group of Dr. Krause is hosted at the Nanochemistry Department directed by Prof. Lotsch with extensive infrastructure and experience in the synthesis and characterization of nanoporous framework materials. With the support of the CZS Nexus Award, Dr. Krause is able to build up an interdisciplinary research team that can address fundamental questions in solid-state dynamics using a wide scope of synthetic, experimental and theoretical methods.


The group has now several open positions. Interested PhD candidates or Post-Docs can apply via email to or find current job openings here.

About the Carl Zeiss Foundation
The Carl Zeiss Foundation’s mission is to create an open environment for scientific breakthroughs. As a partner of excellence in science, it supports basic research as well as applied sciences in the STEM subject areas (science, technology, engineering and mathematics). Founded in 1889 by the physicist and mathematician Ernst Abbe, the Carl Zeiss Foundation is one of the oldest and biggest private science funding institutions in Germany. It is the sole owner of Carl Zeiss AG and SCHOTT AG. Its projects are financed from the dividend distributions of the two foundation companies. more
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