Research Group
of Helmut Cölfen

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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


Referee for:


Education and studies:



Chemistry studies at the Gerhard Mercator University Duisburg
Pre-diploma (Bachelor): 12.2.1988
Diploma, physical chemistry 31.1.1991



Ph-D in Chemistry at Gerhard Mercator University Duisburg (Summa cum laude) „Analytical Ultracentrifugation of Gels“ with Prof. Dr. W. Borchard



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“



Venia Legendi in physical chemistry at Potsdam University


Professional Career:



Research Assistant in the Applied Physical Chemistry Dept. in Duisburg



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



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



Private docent at Potsdam University



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)



Full Professor Physical Chemistry, University Konstanz





Graduate scholarship of the Gerhard Mercator Universität-GH-Duisburg



“Hochschulabsolventenpreis” of the Gerhard Mercator Universität-GH-Duisburg for the best diploma thesis of the year



“Studienabschlußstipendium”; Fonds of the German Chemical Industry for a fast chemistry study



Scholarship of the Scientific & Engineering Research Council / England



“Dr. Hermann Schnell Award” of the Dr. Hermann Schnell foundation / German Chemical Society



Travel award of the “Macromolecular Chemistry Division” of the German Chemical Society



Steinhofer lecture, Freiburg



Listed in the Thomson Reuters list of top 100 chemists worldwide for the years 2000 – 2010






Academy Award of the Berlin Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities

Visiting Professorship for Senior International Scientists of the Chinese Academy of Science

ECIS Solvay Award of the European Colloid and InterfaceSociety

LUKS Teaching Award, University of Konstanz


Commissions of Trust:

  • 2010 - 2014: International Advisory Board Member for Japan wide consortium Fusion Materials: Creative Development of Materials and Exploration of Their Function through Molecular Control, funded by Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science & Technology in Japan
  • 2010 - 2016: International Advisory Board Member for Programme Grant: “Hard-soft Interfaces: from understanding to engineering” funded by Scientific & Engineering Research Council (England)
  • Since 2012 Member of the Board of Trustees of the "Südwestmetall Förderpreis"
  • 2014 - 2018: International Advisory Board for the National Competence Center for Research (NCCR) on Bio-Inspired Materials funded by National Science Foundation, Switzerland


Editor of Scientific Journals

  • Since 2012: Co-editor Current Nanoscience (IF 1.42)
  • Since 2015: Editor in Chief Crystals


Editorial / Advisory Boards of Scientific Journals: 

  • Macromolecular Bioscience (since 2008), WileyCrystals (since 2008), MDPI open access
  • Current Nanoscience (since 2010), Bentham Science
  • Journal of Biomaterials and Nanobiotechnology (since 2011), Scientific Research open access
  • The Scientific World Journal (since 2012), Hindawi open access
  • Journal of Crystallography (since 2012), Hindawi open access
  • Particle & Particle Systems Characterization (since 2012), Wiley
  • Inorganics (since 2013), MDPI open access
  • Nanomaterials (since 2013), MDPI open access
  • Crystal Engineering Communications (since 2013), Royal Society of Chemistry
  • Bioinspired Materials (since 2013), de Gruyter open access
  • Journal of Materials Chemistry B (since 2014), Royal Society of Chemistry



Guest professorships / Short Courses:



Fractionating particle analytics & colloid chemistry in the geochemistry course of the University Konstanz



Guest Professor: Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Lausanne (EPFL)



Short Course Series on „Rational approaches towards materials and polymers with nanoscale order and improved properties” Universidad de Chile, Santiago de Chile



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



14 h Lecture & Examination „Rational approaches towards materials and polymers with nanoscale order and improved properties” at Ecole Doctorale, EPFL Lausanne



14 h Lecture & Examination „Rational approaches towards materials and polymers with nanoscale order and improved properties” at Ecole Doctorale, EPFL Lausanne


Membership of Scientific Societies:


2000 Member of the German Chemical Society
2014 Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry
2015 Dechema ProcessNet Fachausschuss Grenzflächenbestimmte Systeme und Prozesse




262 Publications at 9/2014, H-Index 60, > 14600 total citations, 27 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:


> 220 oral presentations, 190 invited talks, 16 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

Scientific committee member Biomaterials for Composites at Lake Louise Conference 2009

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

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

Scientific committee member Biomaterials for Composites at Lake Louise Conference 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, International Conference on Crystal Growth and Epitaxy, 11 - 16.8.2013 Warsaw Poland

Scientific committee member Biomaterials for Composites at Lake Louise Conference 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, 21 - 25.4.2014 San Francisco, USA

2014: Co-organizer: 10th Zsigmondy Kolloquium with Alexander Wittemann, Sebastian Polarz, Stefan Mecking, Matthias Fuchs, 7 - 8.4.2014, Konstanz, Germany

2014: Session co-organizer: "Non Classical Nucleation and Crystallization" with Lennart Bergström and Markus Niederberger, EMRS spring meeting 2014, 26 - 30.5. in Lille, France

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

Scientific committee member Biomaterials for Composites at Lake Louise Conference 2015

2015: Session co-organizer: "Equilibrium versus disequilibrium states in biologic hard tissues and biomimetic analogues" at Goldschmidt 2015 2015: Conference in Prague with Erika Griesshaber, Wolfgang Schmahl and Andrew Putnis 

2015: Scientific committee member of ECIS 2015, 29th conference of the European Colloid and Interface Society, Bordeaux 6 - 11.9.2015 

2015: Scientific committee member of 13th International Conference on Biomineralization in Granada 16 - 19.9.2015 

2015: International program committee of the 22nd International Conference on Analytical Ultracentrifugation AUC 2015 

Referee for:

ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces, ACS Nano, ACS Combinatorial Science, Acta Biomaterialia, Advanced Biomaterials, Advanced Materials, Advanced Materials Letter, Advanced Material

s Interfaces, Advanced Functional Materials, Advanced Healthcare Materials, Advanced Optical Materials, Advances in Colloid and Interface Science, Advances in Materials Research, Aerosol Science and Technology, American Mineralogist, Analyst, Analytical Chemistry, Angewandte Chemie, Applied Clay Science, Applied Physics A, Applied Physics Letters, Applied Surface Science, Arabian Journal if Chemistry, Beilstein Journal of Nanotechnology, Bioinformatics, Biomacromolecules, BioMed Research International, Biophysical Journal, BMC Biophysics, Carbohydrate Polymers, Carbohydrate Research, Case Reports in Dentistry, Cement and Concrete Research, Chemical Communications, Chemistry – An Asian Journal, Chemistry - A European Journal, Chemistry of Materials, Chemistry Central Journal, Current Nanoscience, Current Organic Chemistry, Chemical Engineering Communications, Chemical Engineering Journal, Chemical Engineering Science, Chemical Engineering & Technology, Chemical Geology, Chemical Papers, ChemPhysChem., ChemPlusChem, Chemical Physics Letters, Chemical Reviews, Chemical Society Reviews, Chemical Science, Chemie Ingenieur Technik, Chimia, Chinese Journal of Chemistry, Chirality, Collection of the Czechoslovak Chemical Communications, Composites Part B, 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, Current Biology, 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, IUCrJ, Journal of Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics, Journal of the American Chemical Society, Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, Journal of Alloys and Compounds, Journal of the American Ceramic Society, Journal of Applied Crystallography, Journal of Archeological Science, Journal of Biobased Materials and Bioenergy, Journal of Biomaterials Science: Polymer Edition, Journal of Biomaterials and Nanibiotechnology, 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 Fluorine Chemistry, Journal of Inorganic Biochemistry, Journal of Nanomaterials, Journal of Peptide Science, Journal of the Taiwan Institute of Chemical Engineers, 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 Nanomaterials, 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 D: Applied Physics, 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 Vacuum Science and Technology, 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, Materials Horizons, 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, Nanotoxicology, Nano Today, Nature Climate Change, Nature Communications, Nature Materials, Nature Nanotechnology, New Journal of Chemistry, NPG Asia Materials, Particle and Particle Systems Characterization, Pharmaceutical Research, Physica B, Physica E, Physica Scripta, 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, Pure and Applied Chemistry, Reactive and Functional Polymers, Recent Patents on Engineering, Review of Scientific Instruments, RSC Advances, Science, Science of Advanced Materials, 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, European Research Council, EPSERC. Foundation Ireland RFP2009 Materials Panel, French National Research Agency, German-Israeli Foundation (GIF), Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO), Pazy Foundation Israel, US department of energy (DOE), US-Israel Binational Science foundation, ETH Zürich Research Commission.


Private interests:   

Music in a band, cooking, cycling