Prof. Dr. Carsten Sönnichsen

Carsten Sönnichsen, born 1973 in Hamburg (Germany), studied physics in Hamburg and Cambridge. In 2001, he received his Ph.D. from the Ludwig-Maximilians University (LMU) in Munich, Germany (working for Jochen Feldmann). Following his experience in an international management consulting in Munich, Germany, he joined the Paul Alivisatos group in Berkeley as a postdoc. In 2005, he started his own group at the University of Mainz where he now holds a chair in physical chemistry. The group emphasizes on the production and application of nanoparticles as markers and sensors for biological molecules, optical single particle spectroscopy and electron microscopy. The work is funded among others by an ERC starting grant.

For more information see also Publications.

Academic CV

3/2011 Full professor (W3) for physical chemistry in Mainz
4/2009 Gutenberg Fellow and professor for physical chemistry, University of Mainz (W2)


Positive evaluation (as junior professor)
since 2005 Juniorprofessor for Nanobiotechnology and Emmy Noether research group leader, Physical Chemistry, University of Mainz, Germany
2003 - 2005 Postdoc with Paul Alivisatos, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, USA
2002 - 2003 Consultant with a leading management consulant company, Munich, Germany
1998 - 2001 Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich, Germany
Ph.D. with Jochen Feldmann, thesis title: ‘Plasmons in metal nanostructures’
1996 - 1997 University of Cambridge, England
M.Phil. in the ‘Polymers and Colloids’ group, thesis title:
‘Environmental Scanning Electron Microscopy (ESEM) on living cells’.
1994 - 1996 University of Hamburg, Germany, studied physics and biophysics
1993 - 1994 Audited physics (3 semesters), while attending high school and during the mandatory German social service ("Zivildienst")
1990 - 1993 Trained as chemical laboratory assistant (CTA)
1980 - 1993 Primary and secondary school in Hamburg, Germany


2010 ERC starting grant
2009 Vertrauensdozent der Studienstiftung des Deutschen Volkes
2008 Gutenberg junior fellow
2005 Emmy Noether Research Grand, Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft
2004-2005 Feodor Lynnen Research Scholarhip, Humboldt Foundation
2003 Promotionspreis der Münchner Universitätsgesellschaft
2001 Röntgen-Preis der Universität Würzburg
1993-1998 Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes ('National Merit Foundation')
1996-1997 DAAD (German Academic Exchange Program) scholarship to study at Cambridge, England
1996-1997 King Edwards VIIth scholarship (Cambridge)
1996 European Trust grant (Cambridge)
1995-1996 Fritz-Prosiegel-Scholarship, University of Hamburg
1992 jugend forscht 4th prize (physics) at the national level
1990-1993 several prizes in the first rounds of the national youth competitions in mathematics, computer science, and physics
1990 Seattle, WA, USA Science Olympiad, State Finals (2nd prize)