PDI -> About us

The Institute – Facts, Mission and Organizational Structure

The Paul-Drude-Institut für Festkörperelektronik (PDI) is a German research institute with about 100 employees located in Berlin-Mitte. PDI was founded in 1992 and emerged from the former Zentralinstitut für Elektronenphysik of the Academy of Sciences of the German Democratic Republic. The institute is a member of the Leibniz-Gemeinschaft and part of the Forschungsverbund Berlin e.V.

PDI works closely with partners from science, industry and academia, and actively engages in the transfer of its knowledge and technologies to the public. Training and education of young researchers is an important task for the institute. The director of PDI holds a professorship at the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin.

Device Inspiring Research

According to its mission, PDI performs basic research as a lively symbiosis of materials science and solid state physics in order to inspire and demonstrate new functionalities for future technologies. Our focus lies on the fabrication and investigation of low-dimensional structures in semiconductors. The institute covers the whole range from growth and processing, to microstructural characterization, spectroscopic analysis and theoretical modeling. A core competence of the institute is the precise deposition of atomic structures using molecular beam epitaxy (MBE). PDI provides over 1500 m² of laboratory space, including a recently opened central clean room area of 450 m² that is dedicated to MBE.


An extended version of our mission is available for download here

Organizational Structure


The director of PDI, Prof. Dr. Henning Riechert, is responsible for the institute and its scientific program and output.

General Manager (Forschungsverbund Berlin e.V.)

PDI is one of eight research institutes inside the Forschungsverbund Berlin e.V. (FVB). All institutes share a common legal entity and administrative infrastructure while maintaining scientific autonomy. The administrative director of FVB, Dr. Manuela Urban, acts as the general manager of the institutes.


The institute is organized in four departments, the Department of Epitaxy, Department of Microstructure, Department of Semiconductor Spectroscopy, and Department of Technology and Transfer. The departments represent the long-term areas of competence of PDI and are responsible for staff, facilities and other resources and their allocation to the core research areas.

Core Research Areas

Scientists, engineers, and technicians of all four departments of the institute collaborate in different interdisciplinary core research areas, in which the scientific work at PDI is carried out. At present, our six core research areas are: III-V Nanowires for Optoelectronics, Control of Elementary Excitations by Acoustic Fields, Ferromagnet-Semiconductor Hybrid Structures, Intersubband Emitters, Nanoanalytics, and Nanofabrication.

Scientific Advisory Board

PDI's scientific advisory board consists of outstanding national and international researchers. They advise the institute in all scientific matters , discuss its scientific strategy and once a year evaluate its research activities. The present members of the board are: 


  • Prof. Dr. José Manuel Calleja Pardo, Departamento de Física de Materiales, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Cantoblanco, E-28049 Madrid, Spain
  • Dr. Steven C. Erwin, Center for Computational Materials Science, Naval Research Laboratory, Washington, DC 20375, U.S.A.
  • Prof. Dr. James S. Speck, Materials Department, University of California, Santa Barbara, CA 93106-5050, U.S.A.
  • Dr. Hiroshi Yamaguchi, NTT Basic Research Laboratories, Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation, 3-1, Morinosato Wakamiya, Atsugi-shi Kanagawa 243-0198, Japan
  • Prof. Dr. Matthias Wuttig, I. Physikalisches Institut (IA), RWTH Aachen, Sommerfeldstraße 14, 52074 Aachen, Germany
  • Prof. Dr. Manfred Bayer, Fakultät Physik, Experimentelle Physik 2, TU Dortmund, 44221 Dortmund, Deutschland
  • Prof. Oscar Dubon, UC Berkeley 210 Hearst Memorial Mining Building #1760 Berkeley, CA 94720 USA
  • Dr. Heike Riel, IBM Research – Zurich Säumerstr. 4 CH‐8803 Rüschlikon Schweiz
  • Prof. Werner Wegscheider, Advanced Semiconductor Quantum Materials Laboratory for Solid State Physics ETH Zürich Otto-Stern-Weg 1 CH-8093 Zürich