CRC 1242 - Non-equilibrium Dynamics of Condensed Matter in the Time Domain

Controlling physical properties of condensed matter is decisive for many technological achievements which we use in our daily life. So far, such directed variation of properties like the electrical conductivity in doped semiconductors in electronics, the chemical reactivity of transition metal surfaces in catalysis or the interaction of light with solids in photovoltaics are exploited close to thermodynamic equilibrium. Future developments may go far beyond into the non-equilibrium regime generated by external stimuli. Comprehensive understanding of the properties and the dynamic response in this far out-of-equilibrium regime remains to be developed.

The collaborative research center (CRC) 1242 was established in 2016 to focus research efforts at the University of Duisburg-Essen in this direction and to advance fundamental insights into non-equilibrium dynamics in condensed matter through analysis in the time domain. Analysis and understanding of non-equilibrium dynamics was the main focus initially and the center has already made significant contributions to various fields of condensed matter science. Currently we build on the understanding developed so far and aim at systematic manipulation of non-equilibrium dynamics. The CRC provides a dedicated education program to its graduate students through the integrated graduate school. Funds available to, and independently managed by, the graduate students can be used for projects, travel, and workshops and will facilitate the development of complementary expertise already at a rather early career stage. Junior principal investigators may profit in particular from opportunities to present themselves and their work on an international top level to experts in the field and to form networks. Measures to strengthen equal opportunities among the researchers have already taken effect and will be continued and developed further. Outreach to the public regarding demonstration, communication, and education in the context of the CRC’s research is a further ongoing effort that may even reach future researchers.

Further information

Spokesperson: Prof. Dr. Uwe Bovensiepen (

Disciplines: Physics, Chemistry

Institutions: Faculty of Physics, University of Duisburg-Essen; Faculty of Chemistry, University of Duisburg-Essen; Department of Theoretical Physics, Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorff

Funded since 2016

Contact Equal Opportunities: Dr. Katharina Ollefs, Dr. Nora Dörmann, Prof. Dr. Michael Horn-von Hoegen, Prof. Dr. Martin Mittendorff, Prof. Dr. Heiko Wende, Prof. Dr. Marika Schleberger (

Homepage Equal Opportunities: Gender Equality SFB 1242