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keywords: Max Planck, NSRRC, Liu Hao Tjeng, Center for Complex Phase Materials
Max Planck–NSRRC/NCTU/NTHU Center for Complex Phase Materials to be established in Taiwan by the Max Planck Society


Fig. 1: Aerial view of the NSRRC. Taiwan Photon Source, a considerably large ring next to the Taiwan Light Source.   Fig. 2: The beamline station of “Submicron soft X-ray spectroscopy” built at the Taiwan Photon Source by the MPS.   Fig. 3: A meeting held at the MPI-CPfS in August 2016 to organize the founding of Max Planck–NSRRC/NCTU/NTHU Center for Complex Phase Materials.   Fig. 4: YH Chu, BC Wu, R Kwo, S Gwo, LH Tjeng, S Schmidt-Koschella, SJ Jou, HD Yang, C Wu, LJ Chen, DJ Huang, H. Hocheng, and CC Chen (from left to right)

Hsinchu, Taiwan – National Synchrotron Radiation Research Center (NSRRC) held a press conference on January 4, 2017 at the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) led by Chair Lih J. Chen of the NSRRC BOT, Director Shangjr Gwo of NSRRC, President Ovid J. L. Tzeng of University System of Taiwan, President Hong Hocheng of National Tsing Hua University (NTHU), President Mau-Chung Chang of National Chiao Tung University (NCTU) and Director Liu Hao Tjeng of Max Planck Institute for Chemical Physics of Solids (MPI-CPfS) in Dresden, Germany. In the press conference the plan to establish the Max Planck–NSRRC/NCTU/NTHU Center for Complex Phase Materials (MPPNC-CPM) in Hsinchu, Taiwan, was announced. The Center will strengthen the scientific collaboration and exchange of scientists and students between the Max Planck Society (MPS) and the NSRRC/NTHU/NCTU, aiming at further expanding both countries’ cooperation networks.

The MPS is one of the world’s most reputable research organizations; it is famed as the “cradle of Nobel Laureates.” Since its formation in 1948, 18 Nobel laureates in the areas of physics, chemistry and medicine have emerged from the ranks of its scientists. Remarkable researches carried out at the Max Planck Institutes result in more than 15,000 publications each year in internationally renowned scientific journals. It is an important milestone in Taiwanese academia marking a new paradigm for world’s leading research organizations to found joint research centers in Taiwan.

The team led by Director Tjeng has had a long standing scientific collaboration with the NSRRC. For two decades, they have used the Taiwanese synchrotron light source to perform experiments, and published more than 90 publications with the NSRRC scientists in well-known key journals. In addition, the MPS has invested 1.5 million Euros (approximately TWD 52 million) in constructing a beamline station at the Taiwan Photon Source (TPS), a second synchrotron light source which opened to users in 2016. Continuous studies of advanced materials, such as semiconducting, nano-structured and magnetic materials in collaboration with NTHU and NCTU scientists are expected.

The MPS signed a Memorandum of Understanding with NCTU in 2013 and, under such arrangement, collaborated with Prof. Ying-Hao Chu (NCTU) on multiferroic and PLD grown oxide thin films. Until now, 15 students have been sent to the MPS under the exchange program1 to participate in the MPS scientific activities. The MPS and NTHU signed another Memorandum of Understanding in 2016 to take part in the investigation of advanced thin film research on emergent quantum matters led by Prof. Raynien Kwo (NTHU). The NTHU teams engaged in this study were sponsored by the Ministry of Education under their “Global Networking Talent 3.0 Plan” program.

To continue and reinforce 20 years of bilateral collaborations in the field of synchrotron-based research with the aim to foster young scientists, the MPS is to officially found the Max Planck––NSRRC/NCTU/NTHU Center for Complex Phase Materials (MPPNC-CPM) in Taiwan. The MPS and institutes in Taiwan will pledge 400,000 Euros (approximately TWD 14 million) each year to the Center, which will be used to support young scientists, post-doctoral researchers, and PhD students to study in the applicable fields.

The Taiwanese government is now advocating “Making connections to local, global, and future” as a new strategy to develop science and technology. The Center, which is not only deemed as a world-class platform for collaborative research but also given the advantage to work with top local universities, will power up the future science and technology development in Taiwan.
1: Taiwan-Germany exchange program started in 2014. Mr. Ping-Chun Wu was the first exchange student, who stayed in Germany for a year and had a paper published in ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces in 2016.