Outstanding basic research on light-matter interaction - Max Born Institute successfully evaluated

In its statement, the Leibniz Association's Senate acknowledges MBI's outstanding research achievements and strong international position. The Senate recommends continuing the joint funding by the Federal and State Governments as a result of an evaluation carried out in 2019.

As part of the Leibniz Association's evaluation procedure, the Senate published its statement on the report of an international expert group that evaluated MBI in 2019. The statement emphasizes that MBI is extremely successful in conducting basic research in the field of nonlinear optics and ultrafast dynamics in the interaction of light with matter. The institute develops and applies partly unique lasers and laser controlled short pulse light sources. The experiments carried out with them on ultrashort time and length scales provide insights into the microscopic interactions that determine the physical properties of atoms, molecules, liquids and solids as well as transient electronic and atomic structures. The MBI thus addresses fundamental questions in physics, chemistry and materials science.

The research achievements of MBI are rated excellent. This is demonstrated by numerous high-quality publications and the successful acquisition of very competitive funding, including three ERC grants since 2016. Since the last evaluation, the institute has developed convincingly and has confirmed its strong international position, which it already held in 2012. The successful integration of experimental and theoretical research is also highlighted. With its laser systems, MBI also provides important and highly requested infrastructure services for other research institutions such as the European X-Ray Free-Electron Laser (XFEL) and the Free-Electron Laser Hamburg (FLASH) of the Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron (DESY). In addition, the institute is also playing a significant role in the establishment of the Extreme Light Infrastructure (ELI) within the framework of the European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI).

The plans for the further development of the institute are assessed as convincing. The Senate strongly supports the planned procurement of laser systems that are important for further development of the institute and also emphasizes the importance of adequate annual investment funds for the successful work of the institute. MBI fulfils the requirements that have to be met by an institution of cross-regional importance and nationwide science policy interest.