Elite Network: Topological Insulators

Topological Insulators

The aim of the Doctoral Program is to investigate the basic properties and potential applications of topological insulators. Topological insulators are solids with particular electronic char­ac­ter­istics, their surfaces or edges are electrically conductive while the bulk of the material is insulating. In addition, the electron spin plays a key role in guiding the electron along these surfaces or edges, making them, in addition to their exceptional scientific value, ideal candidates for spintronic devices.

The International Doctorate Program at a glance

Duration of studySix semesters
Place of studyWürzburg, Regensburg
Admission requirementsMaster’s degree in physics, nanostructure science or related fields
Application deadlineJune 1st
Apply now
HeadProf. Dr. Laurens Molenkamp
CoordinatorProf. Dr. Sven Höfling
Contact the coordinator
Further informationWebsite “Topological Insulators“

Addressing topological questions

In particular, the properties of the topological insulator systems HgTe, Bi2Se3 and InAs/GaSb are investigated within the International Doctoral Program. The experimental and theoretical investigations focus on electronic transport, interference and density of states effects, THz excitations and electron-phonon coupling, as well as on the analysis of topological insulator/ superconductor hybrid structures. Doctoral candidates will become experienced in material growth, component development, device fabrication and characterization.

Bavarian science in an international research environment

The International Doctorate Program specializes in the development and implementation of innovative, state-of-the-art research projects, involving international collaboration.

As such, it distinguishes itself from traditional doctoral programs by the internationality of its research pro­jects. Through renowned in­ter­na­tional cooperation partners, such as the University of Tokyo, Harvard and Stanford University, the program offers doctoral students a chal­leng­ing job in an international academic environment. Scientific visits to cooperation partner in­sti­tutes are essential parts of the sci­en­tific education of the doctoral students.

Portrait photo: Prof. Dr. Laurens Molenkamp

In particular, the International Doctoral Program enables us to extend our international contacts in Tokyo and Stanford and make them usable for doctoral candidates in a much larger setting.

Prof. Dr. Laurens Molenkamp

Snippets of the program

EP2DS / MSS-19

Joint conference “Electronic properties of 2D semiconductors” (EP2DS) and “Modulated semiconductor structures” (MSS) in Würzburg

Read the report

Detail image: A person‘s left hand is holding an opened notebook, while the right hand is taking a note with a pencil.

The annual PhD student meeting

The PhD students of the Program “Topological Insulators” met in the vivid capital of the Czech Republic, Prague and discussed their current and latest scientific advances in the broad and exciting field of topological insulators.

Read the report

Persons on a staircase.

Snippets of the research

Guide to the future

In his research, Raphael Kozlovsky investigates the properties of nanometer-sized wires, which consist of certain topological insulator materials.

Hot and cold

In his research work, Valentin L. Müller investigates the fabrication of micrometer sized mercury telluride topological insulators.


Tristan Harder works on exciton-polaritons in periodic potential landscapes and investigates their topological properties in particular.