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.


Extended version of our mission (PDF) 

Organizational Structure


The director of PDI, Prof. Dr. Roman Engel-Herbert, is responsible for the institute and its scientific program and output.

Managing Director (Forschungsverbund Berlin e.V.)

PDI is one of seven 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. Nicole Münnich, functions as the managing director 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 five core research areas are: Nanofabrication Nanoanalytics Control of Elementary Excitations by Acoustic FieldsIII-V Nanowires for Optoelectronics, and Intersubband Emitters .

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. Manfred Bayer, Fakultät Physik Experimentelle Physik 2, TU Dortmund, 44221 Dortmund, Germany
  • Dr. Martin Behringer, OSRAM Opto Semiconductors GmbH, OS CTO TLED R, Leibnizstraße 4, 93055 Regensburg, Germany
  • Prof. Oscar Dubon, UC Berkeley 210 Hearst Memorial Mining Building #1760 Berkeley, CA 94720 USA
  • Prof. Dr. Dagmar Gerthsen, Karlsruher Institut für Technologie (KIT), 76128 Karlsruhe, Germany
  • Prof. Nicolas Grandjean, Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne EPFL SB IPHYS LASPE PH D3 325 (Bâtiment PH), Station 3, CH-1015 Lausanne, Switzerland 
  • Dr. Michelle Johannes, Center for Computational Materials Science, Naval Research Laboratory, Washington DC 20375, USA
  • Dr. Heike Riel, IBM Research – Zurich Säumerstr. 4 CH‐8803 Rüschlikon, Switzerland
  • Prof. Werner Wegscheider, Advanced Semiconductor Quantum Materials Laboratory for Solid State Physics ETH Zürich Otto-Stern-Weg 1 CH-8093 Zürich, Switzerland
  • Prof. Dr. Matthias Wuttig, I. Physikalisches Institut (IA), RWTH Aachen, Sommerfeldstraße 14, 52074 Aachen, Germany