The scientists of the Faculty of Science are involved in numerous cross-faculty institutions as well as national and international research projects. In many externally funded projects (e.g. by DFG, BMBF, EU and some major business enterprises) both basic and application-oriented issues are addressed. The expenditure of funds (excluding expenditure on major equipment) amounts to about 8,05 million euros in 2016.
Some examples for actual activities in the spotlight:
- Collaborative Research Center "Tailored nonlinear photonics: From fundamental concepts to functional structures" (SFB/TRR 142): Under the auspices of the Paderborn Department of Physics research groups of the University of Paderborn (Physics, Electrical Engineering and Information Technology) and the TU Dortmund University (Physics) work together in the SFB/TRR 142. By the combination of Paderborn's expertise in the area of photonic materials, quantum optics, and theory with Dortmund's expertise in the area of nonlinear spectroscopy, an innovative competence center for the study of new information and communication technologies is established. The research program of the SFB/TRR started on 1st of April 2014. For the first funding period of almost four years the program was furnished with a budget of about ten million euros by the German Research Foundation (DFG). On 1 January 2018 the German Research Foundation (DFG) extended the research project with a budget of about 11.5 million euros by four years.
- Center for Optoelectronics and Photonics Paderborn (CEOPP): The CEOPP was established as a central research facility of the University of Paderborn in September 2006. The CeOPP hosts currently19 research groups from the departments of Physics, Chemistry, and Electrical Engineering. It organizes the use of common technical resources and scientific competences for joint research and development in the field modern optical technologies. This central and common research topic is also an extremely attractive field of education for students in Natural Sciences and Electrical Engineering.
- Research Training Group "Micro- and Nanostructures in Optoelektronics und Photonics" (GRK 1464): The GRK 1464 is funded by the German Research Foundation from April 2008 until March 2017. The research projects of the program are focused on basic problems and further technical development of highly efficient light sources based on semiconductors (optoelectronics) and on integrated structures for processing, transmitting and displaying information utilizing light (photonics).
- DFG Research Unit: Dynamics of Electron Transfer Processes within Transition Metal Sites in Biological and Bioinorganic Systems (FOR 1405): The FOR 1405 is funded by the German Research Foundation until December 2017. Scientists at the universities from Paderborn, Hamburg, Munich and the Centre for Free-Electron laser Science (CFEL, DESY, Hamburg) collaborate since 2011 in this trans-disciplinary research group with unique synchrotron radiation and ultrashort pulsed, extremely brilliant laser radiation. The interdisciplinary research ties together areas of coordination chemistry with areas of physics of free electron lasers as well as theoretical physics and quantum chemistry. The project focuses on active centres of various copper-containing enzymes, their chemical reconstruction and their characterization with the best photon sources available today. This involves processes in which electrons are excited or transferred. They play a crucial role in many chemical reactions. Studies on the excitation and relaxation dynamics of electronic states in biological and biomimetic systems are therefore of central importance. The ambitious goal is to pursue time-resolved reactions at the molecular level in order to develop a comprehensive understanding of the processes involved as a prerequisite for a successful transfer into other areas such as medicine and technology.
- Institute for Lightweight Design with Hybrid Systems (ILH): Lightweight design has a special significance for the conservation of resources in machine, plant and vehicle construction. Against this background the Institute of Lightweight Design with Hybrid Systems (ILH) was set up in September 2012. At present the institute has eleven full members (seven professors of the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and four professors of the Faculty of Natural Sciences). This allows a holistic view of this lightweight approach and the mapping of the entire process chain of hybrid systems, starting with materials development, based on polymers and metals, continuing with process technologies and simulation techniques and finally ending with aspects of recycling. A special attention is paid to the implementation of consistent lightweight design for increasing the energy and resource efficiency. Since August 2014 the ILH manages together with other groups of the faculty of mechanical engineering and the faculty of arts and humanities the NRW-Fortschrittskolleg “Leicht – Effizient – Mobil“. Within the scope of this project currently eighteen post graduates (eleven funded and seven associated) are working on inter- and transdisciplinary approaches for saving resources and energy and thereby for a sustainable economic development.