Clusters of Excellence

Clusters of Excellence

Involving the Faculty of Natural Sciences

Clusters 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


The Cluster of Excellence PhoenixD (Photonics, Optics, and Engineering – Innovation Across Disciplines) is comprised of more than 100 scientists in physics, mechanical engineering, chemistry, electrical engineering, computer science and mathematics, who are working together in the field of optical technologies. The core concept of PhoenixD is to merge optical systems, design and simulation tools with all relevant production technologies into one combined platform so as to create individualized and highly functional optical devices.

The Faculty of Natural Sciences participates in the Cluster of Excellence through the Behrens and Bigall research groups. They will produce new optical materials, optimise them with regard to their processability and simulate their properties.

The designated spokespersons for PhoenixD are: Prof. Dr Uwe Morgner, Prof. Dr Ludger Overmeyer and Prof. Dr Wolfgang Kowalsky. Prof. Dr. Peter Behrens is the spokesperson for the "PhoenixD Research School", an initiative for young researchers integrated into PhoenixD.