Clusters of Excellence

Cluster of Excellence

involving the Faculty of Natural Sciences

Cluster of Excellence are a part of the Excellence Initiative of the Federal Government and the Federal States to promote cutting-edge research at universities. With the participation of the Faculty of Natural Sciences, two clusters have successfully emerged from the current application round of Leibniz University Hannover.


Hearing for everyone, in every situation and at all times: this is the objective of Hearing4all, the interdisciplinary collaborative project which has now been running for almost seven years. Almost 18 percent of the German population – including more than half of those over 65 – suffer from loss of hearing which requires treatment. The scientists want to critically improve the communication situation of people affected, be it at work, in traffic or at home, by means of optimised, personalised audiological diagnostics and by providing them with personalised hearing devices – ranging from hearing aids to implants.

The University of Oldenburg, which submitted the successful application together with Hannover Medical School and Leibniz University Hannover, leads this scientific collaboration into hearing issues.

The research undertaken at Leibniz University Hannover focuses on the natural sciences and engineering. The Institute of Microelectronic Systems designs and implements highly compact processor architectures based on state-of-the-art semiconductor technologies which have an extremely low energy consumption.

At the Institute of Inorganic Chemistry, the Behrens research group is developing materials and methods that facilitate the release of drugs from a cochlea implant  which help to improve the impaired biological situation in the inner ear. Its aim is to achieve controlled, localised drug release which can be regulated from the outside, where necessary.

Modern optogenetic methods intended to lead to a new concept for the stimulation of the auditory nerve cells are being developed at the  Institute of Quantum Optics. A joint project involving the Institutes of Technical Chemistry, Inorganic Chemistry and Quantum Optics is aiming to use these optogenetic methods to trigger drug release as well.

Dep. Coordinator (Hannover, MHH): Prof. Dr. Thomas Lenarz


PhoenixD: Photonics, Optics, and Engineering - Innovation Across Disciplines is a cross-faculty initiative of physics, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, computer sciences and chemistry to redefine the design and the manufacturing of optical systems. The aim is to combine optical design, optical simulation and modern production methods into a single integrated platform. The intention is to design and manufacture individual and highly functional precision optical systems.

The Faculty of Natural Sciences is participating in the Cluster of Excellence through the groups Behrens and Bigall. They will produce novel optical materials, optimize their processability as well as simulate their properties.

The designated speakers of PhoenixD are: Prof. Dr. Uwe Morgner, Prof. Dr.-Ing. Ludger Overmeyer and Prof. Dr.-Ing. Wolfgang Kowalsky. Prof. Dr. Peter Behrens is Head of the integrated PhoenixD Research School.