Willi Auwärter appointed as Heisenberg professor for Molecular Engineering at Functional Interfaces

2015-04-23 – News from Physics Department

The Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Science Foundation) has awarded one of its prestigious Heisenberg professorships to Willi Auwärter at the Physik-Department. The Heisenberg programme aims to both stimulate progress in research and to maintain an outstanding pool of early career researchers for the scientific community.

Prof. Wilhelm Auwärter (Photo: Heddergott/TUM)


Professor Willi Auwärter (b. 1973) focusses his research on the creation of nanoscale model systems on atomically tailored surfaces, enabling the study and control of single-molecule processes as well as the self-assembly of supramolecular structures. This approach includes the use of ultra-thin textured layers of boron nitride as a substrate. The studies are inspired by the chemistry of life – which shows how functionally versatile a single set of molecular building blocks can be – and oriented towards innovation in nanotechnology. The DFG project of the Heisenberg professorship deals with the functionality of single molecules and nano architectures on structured substrates.


Willi Auwärter studied physics at the University of Zurich (1993 - 1999), where he received his PhD in 2003. Subsequently he worked as postdoctoral fellow at the University of British Columbia and at the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne. He joined TUM in 2007 where he has been working in the research group of Prof. Barth.


  • Heisenberg award of DFG (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft), (2015)
  • Gaede Prize, Deutsche Vakuumgesellschaft (2015)
  • ERC Consolidator Grant, EU (2013)
  • Carl von Linde Junior Fellowship, TUM-IAS (2010)
  • Fellowship for Prospective Researchers, Swiss National Science Foundation (2004)

Selected publications

Hexagonal boronnitride on Cu(111): An electronically corrugated monolayer
Joshi S, Ecija D, Koitz R, Iannuzzi M, Seitsonen AP, Hutter J, Sachdev H, Vijarayaraghavan S, Bischoff F, Seufert K, Barth JV, Auwärter W
A surface-anchored molecular four-level conductance switch based on single proton transfer
Auwärter W, Seufert K, Bischoff F, Ecija D, Vijarayaraghavan S, Joshi S, Klappenberger F, Samudrala N, Barth JV
Cis-dicarbonyl binding at cobalt and iron porphyrins with saddle-shape conformation
Seufert K, Bocquet ML, Auwärter W, Weber-Bargioni A, Reichert J, Lorente N, Barth JV
Controlled metalation of self-assembled porphyrin nanoarrays in two dimensions
Auwärter W, Weber-Bargioni A, Brink S, Riemann A, Schiffrin A, Ruben M, Barth JV
Boron Nitride Nanomesh
Corso M, Auwärter W, Muntwiler M, Tamai A, Greber T, Osterwalder J


Prof. Dr. Willi Auwärter
Technische Universität München
James-Franck-Str. 1
85748 Garching
Tel.: +49 89 289-12399
E-Mail: wau@tum.de
Dr. Johannes Wiedersich

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