Renowned nano-researcher retires

Professor Weller bids farewell

Press release by BWFGB Hamburg /

On December 12, Horst Weller, professor of physical chemistry at the University of Hamburg and head of the Center for Applied Nanotechnology (CAN) research division at the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP, retired. He is considered one of the world's most influential scientific minds in the field of chemistry. He also made a significant contribution to the University of Hamburg being able to acquire the title of Excellence.

© Fraunhofer IAP
Renowned nanoscientist Professor Horst Weller will retire at the end of 2022.
© Fraunhofer IAP
Professor Horst Weller (center) was bid farewell by Science Senator Katharina Fegebank (left) and Professor Alexander Böker (right), Director of the Fraunhofer IAP.

Science Senator Katharina Fegebank: "I would like to express my sincere thanks to Professor Horst Weller for his great commitment to science in Hamburg and the close cooperation over the past years. He is a top international scientist and a pioneer in the field of nanoparticle synthesis. His work has contributed significantly to the acquisition of the Cluster of Excellence Advanced Ultrafast Imaging of Matter and thus also laid one of the foundations for the title of Excellence of the University of Hamburg. With CAN, which is now part of the Fraunhofer family, Professor Weller is leaving the Hamburg scientific landscape a center that will continue to gain in importance in the future, I am sure.

Dear Professor Weller, I congratulate you from the bottom of my heart on this extraordinary life's work. As small as your research objects are, your merit for science is great. With your work in nanoparticle research, you have also significantly advanced and shaped the development of Hamburg as a research location. I am pleased that you will remain with us for a while as a constructive companion of CAN and wish you only the best for your coming retirement."

Professor Alexander Böker, Director of Fraunhofer IAP: "Professor Weller is a pioneer of nanotechnology. With a great deal of passion, he made significant contributions over the past 40 years to developing nanochemistry internationally into a branch of its own in chemistry. With the founding of the Hamburg Center for Applied Nanotechnology CAN GmbH, he also strongly promoted the commercialization of nanotechnology. His research on semiconductor nanocrystals, the synthesis of new materials and their application in areas such as optoelectronics, solar energy conversion and biomedicine was internationally groundbreaking and enriched the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft.

I congratulate the extraordinary person and researcher Horst Weller on his life's work and thank him for his pioneering contributions to research and innovation at the Fraunhofer IAP. For his retirement, I wish him all the very best."

From January 2023, the research division will be headed by Dr. Christoph Gimmler on an acting basis.


About the person

Professor Horst Weller is a German chemist in the field of physical chemistry. He wrote his doctoral thesis as a staff member at the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry in Göttingen. He then worked at the Hahn-Meitner Institute in Berlin, where he became part of a research group as a postdoctoral fellow that was one of the first in the world to succeed in producing nanoparticles. Since 1994, he has been teaching as a professor of physical chemistry at the University of Hamburg.  Prof. Weller is one of the outstanding research personalities at UHH, who has distinguished himself in an exemplary manner as a particularly committed and successful professor in both research and teaching. In the scientific community, Prof. Weller has become particularly famous for his research on the colloidal production of nanoparticles and their characterization.

Professor Weller is one of the three speakers of the Cluster of Excellence "CUI: Advanced Imaging of Matter". His contribution was instrumental in obtaining this cluster of excellence and later in obtaining the title of excellence for the University of Hamburg. He is also the founder of the Center for Applied Nanotechnologies CAN (2005), which he later transferred to the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP as the 7th research division and has continued to lead there (since 2018).

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