Prof. Dr. Tom Nilges



Academic Career and Research Areas

Professor Nilges (b. 1971) conducts research into the synthesis and characterization of innovative inorganic materials. The focus of his research is predominantly on solid state chemistry and associated analytical methods such as X-ray diffraction, conductivity analysis and phase transformation analysis. In addition to the traditional Rietveld analysis on powders, he also conducts anharmonic structure refinement on single-crystals. Professor Nilges’ work group explores new cathode materials and ion-conductors for battery technology, thermoelectrics and poly-anion compounds of phosphorus and tellurium. The group’s main objective is to identify and optimize new materials which can be used to produce and use energy effectively.

Professor Nilges studied chemistry at the University of Siegen and the University of Aberdeen, Scotland, and completed his PhD at the University of Siegen in 2001. He then worked as a research associate at the universities of Regensburg and Münster, where he acted inter alia as subproject manager within the university’s Priority Research Program 458 (Ionic Motion in Materials with Disordered Structures: From Elementary Steps to Macroscopic Transport). In 2007, he completed his postdoctoral teaching qualification at the University of Münster. He then held a substitute professorship for six months and also worked as a visiting professor at University of Bordeaux, France. Professor Nilges has been a Professor at TUM since July 2010. In 2012, he was declined the offer of a professorship in inorganic chemistry at Ulm University.


  • Rudolf Hoppe Lecture, conferred by the Gesellschaft Deutscher Chemiker’s expert group on solid state chemistry and materials research (2016)
  • International Thermoelectric Society (ITS) Scientific and Applied Award for an outstanding scientific paper (2009)
  • Research funding from the Dr. Otto Röhm Foundation (2008)

Baumer F, Ma Y, Shen C, Zhang A, Chen L, Liu Y, Pfister D, Nilges T, Zhou C: “Synthesis, Characterization, and Device Application of Antimony-Substituted Violet Phosphorus – A Layered Material”. ACS Nano. 2017; 11(4): 4105-4113.


Pfister D, Schäfer K, Ott C, Gerke B, Pöttgen R, Janka O, Baumgartner M, Efimova A, Hohmann A, Schmidt P, Venkatachalam S, van Wüllen L, Schürmann U, Kienle L, Duppel V, Parzinger E, Miller B, Becker J, Holleitner A, Weihrich R, Nilges T: “Inorganic double helices in semiconducting SnIP”. Adv. Mater. 2016; 28: 9783-9791.


Nilges T, Lange S, Bawohl M, Deckwart JM, Wiemhöfer HD, Decourt R, Chevalier B, Vannahme J, Eckert H, Weihrich R: “Reversible switching between p- and n-type conduction in the semiconductor Ag10Te4Br3”. Nature Mater. 2009; 8(2): 101–108.


Lange S, Bawohl M, Weihrich R, Nilges T: “Mineralisation routes to polyphosphides: Cu2P20 and Cu5InP16”.  Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. Engl. 2008; 47(30): 5654–5657.


Lange P, Schmidt P, Nilges T: “Au3SnP7@black phosphorus: An easy access to black phosphorus”. Inorg. Chem. 2007; 46(10): 4028–4035.