The Max Planck Institute of Microstructure Physics was founded in 1992 as the first institute of the Max Planck Society in the eastern part of Germany based on the previous Academy of Science Institute of Solid State Physics and Electron Microscopy. The institute consists currently of three departments, one theoretical, and two experimental. The experimental and theoretical research carried out at the Institute is primarily focused on solid state phenomena that are determined by small dimensions and surfaces and interfaces. The investigations concentrate on establishing relations between the magnetic, electronic, optical, and mechanical properties of solids and their microstructure. Thin films and surfaces are investigated as well as nanocrystalline materials, phase boundaries and defects in bulk crystals. The results of the research will provide the necessary information for creating new and improved functional or structural materials in application areas such as sensorics, opto- and microelectronics.