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Adolphe Merkle Institute (AMI)

The Adolphe Merkle Institute (AMI) is an independent competence center at the University of Fribourg that focuses on research and education in the domain of soft nanomaterials.

We owe our existence to Dr. Adolphe Merkle, a successful local entrepreneur, who established the Adolphe Merkle Foundation with the goal of strengthening research and teaching at the University of Fribourg. His endowment of CHF 100 Mio constitutes one of the most important private donations to support academic research in Switzerland.

Founded in 2008, AMI is in many aspects unique in the landscape of Switzerland’s research institutions. Our focus on soft nanomaterials is unmatched in Switzerland and beyond. Our research combines fundamental and application-oriented aspects in a multidisciplinary setting. Through collaborations with industrial partners, AMI aims to stimulate innovation, foster industrial competitiveness and more generally, improve the quality of life.

Our researchers are currently organized in seven research groups, which offer complementary expertise and interests in strategically important areas: BioNanomaterials, Macromolecular Chemistry, Nanoparticles Self-Assembly, Polymer Chemistry and Materials, Soft Matter Physics, Biophysics and Soft Matter Scattering. Interdisciplinary collaborations between our researchers are the basis for the successful and efficient execution of complex research projects that transcend the boundaries of traditional scientific disciplines. This environment and our world-class research facilities make AMI a desirable destination for master’s and PhD students, postdocs, and senior researchers. AMI strives to be a leader in fundamental and application-oriented interdisciplinary research on soft nanoscience.

AMI stands for:

  • Excellence: Become an internationally leading research center by providing competitive employment conditions for outstanding scientists and students.
  • Interdisciplinarity: Create new knowledge and understanding at the overlap between chemistry, physics and biology with a focus on soft nanomaterials.
  • Relevance: Lead basic and application-oriented research in fields of high relevance to create fundamental understanding and promote scientific and technological developments.
  • Innovation: Develop technologies in collaborations with partners from academia and industry in the spirit of open innovation and mutual benefit.

We conduct strategically oriented and programmatically focused scholarly research and develop new technologies. We study and apply nano-based and nano-structured materials. We focus on a soft nanotechnology approach that is based on bottom-up principles and self-assembly nanostrategies.

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