Prof. Holger Frauenrath


Professor in materials science with fundamental knowledge in materials chemistry, polymer science, supramolecular self-assembly, hierarchical structure formation, sustainable materials, organic electronics, and carbon nanomaterials; interested in the role of defects and disorder for the bulk properties of soft materials.


Holger Frauenrath was born and raised in Aachen, Germany. His academic training reflects his passion for a truly interdisciplinary approach to soft matter research. After finishing his undergraduate studies of chemistry at RWTH Aachen, Germany, he obtained a solid background in all aspects of polymer science during his PhD thesis on zirconocene-catalyzed olefin polymerization in the group of Prof. Hartwig Höcker at RWTH Aachen, Germany. His postdoctoral research in the group of Prof. Sam. I. Stupp at Northwestern University, Evanston, USA, raised his research interests in supramolecular self-assembly as a tool to organize soft matter. He started his own research, first at FU Berlin, Germany, and later obtained his Habilitation at the Department of Materials at ETH Zurich, Switzerland, as a team leader in the laboratory of Prof. A. Dieter Schlüter.

Holger Frauenrath joined and received tenure at the Institute of Materials at EPFL, which is among the global top 10 departments in materials science and engineering. Inspired by the institute’s vibrant community, he has progressively complemented the chemistry-driven interest in structure formation on the supramolecular level with a broader materials science perspective. His current research thus bridges materials chemistry, physics, processing, structure and property characterization, aiming to take soft matter research all the way from molecules to materials and devices. His research interests encompass hierarchical structure formation in supramolecular materials, tailoring materials for sustainability, unusual phenomena in organic semiconductor nanostructures, novel routes towards functional carbon nanomaterials, with an overarching focus on the role of the balance of order and disorder across structural levels and length scales in soft materials.

Holger Frauenrath has been appointed as the Associate Dean for Industry & Innovation at the School of Engineering  at EPFL, responsible for promoting technology transfer and innovation, strategic partnerships and initiatives with industry partners, and has developed the strategic theme around engineering for sustainability.