The most intriguing and most promising materials for novel functionality are those in which the coupling between different internal degrees of freedom and the coupling to the environment lead to complex energy landscapes. These intra- and intersystem interactions determine the material’s dynamic response to external fields and thermodynamic heat baths. Ultimately, all functionality is coupled to the dynamic response of the system and therefore determined by the respective energy landscape.
The research projects uniquely combine insight from molecular systems (P1-P3), nanoscale materials (P4-P6) and complex solids (P7-P9). Some of the projects in addition focus on the development of methods (P4-P6) and address common aspects of the experimental projects with theoretical methods (P10).