Research Group
of Helmut Cölfen

Login |

Prof. Dr. Helmut Cölfen

Top 100

Prof. of Physical Chemistry, Group Leader

E-mail: helmut.coelfen(at)
Phone: +49-(0)7531-88-4063
Fax: +49-(0)7531-88-3139
Room: L1006
Education and studies:
  1985-1991 Chemistry studies at the Gerhard Mercator University Duisburg
Pre-diploma (Bachelor): 12.2.1988
Diploma, physical chemistry 31.1.1991
  8.12.1993 Ph-D in Chemistry at Gerhard Mercator University Duisburg (Summa cum laude) „Analytical Ultracentrifugation of Gels“ with Prof. Dr. W. Borchard
  1995-2001 Habilitation with Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. M. Antonietti in the Colloid Chemistry Dept. of the Max-Planck-Institute of Colloids and Interfaces: „Biomimetic mineralization using hydrophilic block copolymers: Synthesis of hybrid colloids with complex form and pathways towards their analysis in solution“
  10.7.2001 Venia Legendi in physical chemistry at Potsdam University


Professional Career:
  1991-1993 Research Assistant in the Applied Physical Chemistry Dept. in Duisburg
  1993-1995 PostDoc at „National Center for Macromolecular Hydrodynamics“ University of Nottingham / Leicester. Research activities in characterization of complex biopolymers and their interactions and superstructures with Prof. Dr. S.E. Harding
  1995-2010 Scientist in the Colloid Chemistry Dept. of the Max-Planck-Institute of Colloids and Interfaces
Head of the ultracentrifuge laboratory
Head of the projects:
Organic-inorganic hybrid colloids
Fractionating methods of colloid analytics
  2004-2010 Private docent at Potsdam University
  2010 Offer of chair of Physical Chemistry (W3) at the University of Konstanz and University Duisburg-Essen (declined), Offer of chair of Materials Chemistry (W3) at the University of Stuttgart (declined)
  5/2010 Full Professor Physical Chemistry, University Konstanz


  1991-1993 Graduate scholarship of the Gerhard Mercator Universität-GH-Duisburg
  1991 “Hochschulabsolventenpreis” of the Gerhard Mercator Universität-GH-Duisburg for the best diploma thesis of the year
  1994 “Studienabschlußstipendium”; Fonds of the German Chemical Industry for a fast chemistry study
  1993-1995 Scholarship of the Scientific & Engineering Research Council / England
  2000 “Dr. Hermann Schnell Award” of the Dr. Hermann Schnell foundation / German Chemical Society
  2001 Travel award of the “Macromolecular Chemistry Division” of the German Chemical Society
  2006 Steinhofer lecture, Freiburg
  2011 Listed in the Thomson Reuters list of top 100 chemists worldwide for the years 2000 – 2010
  2013 Academy Award of the Berlin Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities
  2014 Visiting Professorship for Senior International Scientists of the Chinese Academy of Science
  2014 ECIS Solvay Award of the European Colloid and InterfaceSociety
  2014 LUKS Teaching Award, University of Konstanz


Guest professorships / Short Courses:
Fractionating particle analytics & colloid chemistry in the geochemistry course of the University Konstanz
  1/2002-3/2002 Guest Professor: Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Lausanne (EPFL)
  12/2005 Short Course Series on „Rational approaches towards materials and polymers with nanoscale order and improved properties” Universidad de Chile, Santiago de Chile
  4/2008 14 h Short Course Series with examination on „New approaches towards materials with nanoscale order “ Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Lausanne (EPFL)
  Since 2008 External Lecturer Ecole Doctorale, EPFL Lausanne
  9/2010 14 h Lecture & Examination „Rational approaches towards materials and polymers with nanoscale order and improved properties” at Ecole Doctorale, EPFL Lausanne
  9/2012 14 h Lecture & Examination „Rational approaches towards materials and polymers with nanoscale order and improved properties” at Ecole Doctorale, EPFL Lausanne


Editorial / Advisory Board:
  Bioinspired Materials (2013); Crystals (2008); Crystal Engineering Communications (2013), Current Nanoscience (2010), Journal of Biomaterials and Nanobiotechnology (2011); Macromolecular Bioscience (2008); Nanomaterials (2013), Particle & Particle Systems Characterization (2012); The Scientific World Journal (2012)

Since 2012: Co-editor Current Nanoscience
Commissions of Trust:
  2010 - 2014: Fusion Materials: Creative Development of Materials and Exploration of Their Function through Molecular Control, MEXT, Japan

2010 - 2016: Hard-Soft Matter Interfaces: From Understanding to Engineering, EPSRC, England

Since 2012: Member of the board of trustees of the “Südwestmetall Förderpreis”

2014 - 2018: National Competence Center for Research (NCCR) on Bio-Inspired Materials, NSF, Switzerland

Membership of Scientific Societies:
  2000 Member of the German Chemical Society
2014 Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry
  236 Publications at 10/2012, H-Index 54, > 11350 total citations, 20 cover pages

Invited book (ca. 300 pages) „Mesocrystals and Non Classical Crystallization“published by John Wiley & Sons 6/08. Co-Author: Markus Antonietti.

Cover Pages
Oral Presentations:

> 180 oral presentations, 158 invited talks, 10 plenary talks on intl. meetings, 8 keynote talks on international meetings, 5 invited main talks on Gordon Research Conferences

Lecture List

Current research interests:
  Non Classical Crystallization
Synthesis of organic-inorganic hybrid colloids with complex form.
Synthesis of amphiphilic functional block copolymers.
Fractionating methods of colloid and polymer analytics.
Further scientific activities:

Organisation of the „11th International Symposium on Analytical Ultracentrifugation“
25/26.3.1999 in Potsdam.

Editor Progress in Colloid & Polymer Science 113/ Progress in Analytical Ultracentrifugation 5 (1999), Co-editor Progress in Colloid & Polymer Science 131/ Progress in Analytical Ultracentrifugation 8 (2006)

Co-organizer of the workshop: “Investigation of Biomineralization employing model systems” within the Biomineralization priority program of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) 23 & 24.9.2003 in Braunschweig.

Co-organizer PMSE Symposium “Polymer directed Mineralization“ 233th ACS Spring Meeting Chicago 25.-29.3.2007 with F.C. Meldrum, S. Yang and N. Kröger

Symposium organizer EUROMAT 2007 Nürnberg “Powder processing - self-assembly and tailored nanostructures - towards applications” with Lennart Bergström, 10.-13.9.2007

Symposium organizer at EUROMAT 9/2009 Glasgow, UK with Lennart Bergström and Markus Niederberger

Co-organizer 125th Svedberg anniversary international symposium on Analytical Ultracentrifugation in Uppsala, Sweden 9/2009

Co-Editor with Nico Sommerdijk Lessons from Nature, MRS Bulletin, Vol. 35, February 2010 Materials Research Society

Editor Special Issue “Analytical Ultracentrifugation” Macromol. Bioscience 7/2010

Co-Editor with Fiona Meldrum Crystallization and formation mechanisms of nanostructures, Nanoscale, 2, 2010 special issue

since 2010 Advisory Board Member for Programme Grant of several English universities: Hard-soft Interfaces: from understanding to engineering funded by Scientific & Engineering Research Council (England)

Symposium Chair “Biohybrids and Biomaterials Symposium” Hybrid Materials 2011 Conference in Strasbourg, France 6-10.3.2011

Symposium Co-Chair “Biological Mineralization” Goldschmidt 2012 Conference, 24 – 29.6.2012 in Montreal, Canada

2013: Programme committee with Profs. Jolanta Prywer and Abel Moreno Carcamo for session Biological and Biogenic Crystallization, Interantional Conference on Crystal Growth, Warsaw Poland in 2013

2014: Session co-organizer: "Nanocrystal Growth via Oriented Attachment and Mesocrystal Formation" with Lee Penn, Hengzhong Zhang and Caue Ribeiro, MRS spring meeting 2014, San Francisco, USA

2014: Co-organizer: "International Workshop on Nucleation and Early Stages of Particle Formation" with Wolfgang Peukert and Dirk Zahn. 5 - 6.6. in Erlangen, Germany

Referee for:
  ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces, ACS Nano, Acta Biomaterialia, Advanced Biomaterials, Advanced Materials, Advanced Materials Letter, Advanced Functional Materials, Advanced Optical Materials, Advances in Colloid and Interface Science, Advances in Materials Research, American Mineralogist, Analytical Chemistry, Angewandte Chemie, Applied Clay Science, Applied Physics A, Applied Physics Letters, Applied Surface Science, Beilstein Journal of Nanotechnology, Bioinformatics, Biomacromolecules, Biophysical Journal, BMC Biophysics, Carbohydrate Polymers, Carbohydrate Research, Cement and Concrete Research, Chemical Communications, Chemistry – An Asian Journal, Chemistry - A European Journal, Chemistry of Materials, Chemistry Central Journal, Current Nanoscience, Chemical Engineering Communications, Chemical Engineering Journal, Chemical Engineering Science, Chemical Geology, Chemical Papers, ChemPhysChem., ChemPlusChem, Chemical Physics Letters, Chemical Reviews, Chemical Society Reviews, Chemie Ingenieur Technik, Chimia, Chinese Journal of Chemistry, Chirality, Collection of the Czechoslovak Chemical Communications, Comptes Rendus de’l Academie des Sciences – Chimie, Colloid and Polymer Science, Colloids and Surfaces A, Colloids and Surfaces B, Coordination Chemistry Reviews, Crystals, Crystal Engineering Communications, Crystal Growth and Design, Crystal Research and Technology, Dalton Transactions, Desalination and Water Treatment, Drug Delivery Letters, Energy and Environmental Science, Environmental Science and Pollution Research, Energy and Fuels, Environmental Science & Technology, e-Polymers, European Biophysics Journal, European Journal of Biochemistry, European Journal of Inorganic Chemistry, European Journal of Mineralogy, European Polymer Journal, Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative MedicineExpress, FEBS Journal, Folia Microbiologica, Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, Gondwana Research, Green Chemistry, Industrial and Engineering Chemistry Research, Inorganic Chemistry, International Journal of Biological Macromolecules, International Journal of Molecular Sciences, International Journal of Pharmaceutics, International Journal of Modern Physics B, International Materials Reviews, Journal of Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics, Journal of the American Chemical Society, Journal of the American Ceramic Society, Journal of Applied Crystallography, Journal of Biobased Materials and Bioenergy, Journal of Biomaterials Science: Polymer Edition, Journal of Biomedical Nanotechnology, Journal of Chemistry, Journal of Chromatography A, Journal of Colloid and Interface Science, Journal of Crystal Growth, Journal of Dentistry, Journal of Dispersion Science and Technology, Journal of Inorganic Biochemistry, Journal of Nanomaterials, Journal of Peptide Science, International Journal of Biological Macromolecules, International Journal of Molecular Sciences, Journal of Materials Chemistry, Journal of Materials Chemistry B, Journal of Materials Science, Journal of Non Crystalline Solids, Journal of Materials Research, Journal of Petroleum Technology and Alternative Fuels, Journal of Petroleum and Gas Engineering, Journal of Physics: Condensed Matter, Journal of Physics and Chemistry of Solids, Journal of Physical Chemistry, Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, Journal of Solid State Chemistry, Journal of Structural Biology, Journal of the Royal Society Interface, Journal of Zhejiang University Science, Langmuir, Materials, Materials Characterization, Materials Letters, Materials Chemistry and Physics, Materials Research Bulletin, Materials Science & Engineering B & C, Macromolecules, Macromolecular Bioscience, Macromolecular Chemistry and Physics, Macromolecular Materials & Engineering, Macromolecular Rapid Communications, Micron, Marine Drugs, Microporous and Mesoporous Materials, Microscopy and Microanalysis, Micro & Nanoletters, Mini Reviews in Organic Chemistry, Nanoletters, Nanoscale, Nano Research, Nanoscale Research Letters, Nanotechnology, Nano Today, Nature Communications, Nature Materials, Nature Nanotechnology, New Journal of Chemistry, Particle and Particle Systems Characterization, Pharmaceutical Research, Physica B, Physica E, Physica Status Solidi, PLoS ONE, Polymer, Polymers, Polymer Bulletin, Polymer Chemistry, Polymer degradation and stability, Polymer Letters, Powder Technology, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, Progress in Colloid and Polymer Science, Progress in Polymer Science, Reactive and Functional Polymers, Recent Patents on Engineering, Review of Scientific Instruments, RSC Advances, Science, Scientific Reports (Nature), Scripta Materialia, Sedimentary Geology, Small, Smart Materials and Structures, Separation Science and Technology, Soft Matter, Solid State Sciences, Synlett, Thin Solid Films, Ultramicroscopy, Zeitung für allgemeine und anorganische Chemie, Zeitschrift für Kristallographie, Zeitschrift für physikalische Chemie.

Top 15 % Reviewer: Chemistry of Materials
Top 20 % Reviewer: Crystal Growth and Design, Langmuir
  ACS Petroleum Research Fund, Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, Minerva Stiftung, Alexander von Humboldt Stiftung, Schweizerischer Nationalfonds, Israel Science Foundation, European Science Foundation, EPSERC. Foundation Ireland RFP2009 Materials Panel, French National Research Agency, Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO), US department of energy, US-Israel Binational Science foundation, ETH Zürich Research Commission.
Private interests:
  Music in a band, cooking, cycling