Max Planck Society

ESR 5 – Magnetic field assisted assembly and alignment of Liquid Crystal Elastomers (LCEs)


The Max Planck Society is a leading research organization for fundamental research in Germany. It consists of 84 institutes, employs over 14,000 scientists, and is consistently ranked in the top 3 in the Nature index of research output. The University of Stuttgart with 4.800 employees and about 23000 registered students is a strong research-oriented institution with a main emphasis on engineering and natural sciences that was successful in the recent “Excellence Initiative” sponsored by the German government.

The Micro Nano and Molecular Systems Lab at the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems ( and the Liquid Crystals and Soft Matter Lab at the University of Stuttgart ( have a proven track record in the development of microswimmers, soft microrobotic systems, novel fabrication methods, soft matter research in general, and liquid crystal systems in particular.


Stuttgart, Germany is the state capital of one of the most prosperous states in Germany and it is a powerhouse in technology and innovation. The Stuttgart region is characterized by a broad entrepreneurial diversity – a balanced mix of global brands and extremely innovative medium-sized companies. In addition, Stuttgart has a first-class research infrastructure with many leading universities and institutes that develop cutting-edge technologies.


Supervisor and Co-supervisors:

Prof. Peer Fischer and Prof. Frank Giesselmann


Contact email address of the supervisor:

Research project

While light and temperature have extensively been studied as stimuli to create LCE robotic elements, the use of chemically, electrically and magnetically stimulated LCEs is underexplored. External powering and remote addressing of soft robotic functions needs to be further developed, preferentially wirelessly. In this project advanced microstructuring methods will be developed and combined with active nano systems and magnetic control to realize novel LCE architectures and soft robotic functions.

The selected ESR will be hired by Max Planck Society and will perform research stays (secondments) at Aqdot (United Kingdom), CSIC (Spain) and Sant’Anna School for Advanced Studies (Italy)

PhD programme – University: The research will take place at the Max Planck Institute and at the University of Stuttgart. The Ph.D. degree will be registered at the Univ. of Stuttgart: Doctoral Programme in Chemistry.


Required MSc degree in Chemistry, Physics or Materials Science

English level: Very Good. The working language at the Max Planck Institute is English.

Desired skills: Interest in physical chemistry and nanoscience and an enthusiasm for multidisciplinary research.