Prof. Dr. Marc Tornow


Molecular Electronics

Academic Career and Research Areas

The research of Professor Tornow focuses on semiconductor nanostructures for novel applications in molecular electronics and biosensing. A major focus of this research is the development of nanoscale contacts for the integration of molecular devices into semiconductor technology. The investigation of the electronic properties of molecule-semiconductor interfaces plays an important role in this work. In the field of the label-free detection of bio-molecular interactions the main emphasis of his research is on the development of functionalized nanowires and nanopore devices.

After studying physics in Braunschweig and Heidelberg, Professor Tornow received his doctorate from the University of Stuttgart in 1997 with a dissertation at the Max Planck Institute for Solid State Research. Subsequently, he worked as a postdoctoral fellow at the Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel, and later on the development of RF devices at Infineon Technologies, Munich. From 2001 to 2006 Professor Tornow headed an independent junior research group sponsored by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) at TUM’s Walter Schottky Institute. He acquired his postdoctoral teaching qualification (habilitation) for his work in the field of experimental physics in 2007 at TUM. Professor Tornow was a professor at TU Braunschweig from 2006 to 2013. In March 2013 he was appointed associate professor of molecular electronics at TUM. Since April 2016 Prof. Tornow additionally serves as cooperative department head at the Fraunhofer Research Institution for Microsystems and Solid State Technologies (EMFT).


  • Award winner - BMBF junior research group “nanotechnology” competition (2003)
  • “Hans-Jensen” - fellowship, Minerva Society, Munich (1997)

Diederichs T, Nguyen QH, Urban M, Tampé R, Tornow M: "Transparent Nanopore Cavity Arrays Enable Highly Parallelized Optical Studies of Single Membrane Proteins on Chip". Nano Letters. 2018; 18(6): 3901-3910.


Pathak A, Bora A, Braunschweig B, Meltzer C, Yan H, Lemmens P, Daum W, Schwartz J, Tornow M: "Nanocylindrical confinement imparts highest structural order in molecular self-assembly of organophosphonates on aluminum oxide". Nanoscale. 2017; 9(19): 6291-6295.


Schukfeh MI, Storm K, Mahmoud A, Søndergaard RR, Szwajca A, Hansen A, Hinze P, Weimann T, Fahlvik Svensson S, Bora A, Dick KA, Thelander C, Krebs FC, Lugli P, Samuelson L, Tornow M: "Conductance Enhancement of InAs/InP Heterostructure Nanowires by Surface Functionalization with Oligo-phenylenevinylenes". ACS Nano. 2013; 7(5): 4111–4118.


Cattani-Scholz A, Pedone D, Dubey M, Neppl S, Nickel B, Feulner P, Schwartz J, Abstreiter G, Tornow M: "Organophosphonate based PNA-functionalization of silicon nanowires for label-free DNA detection". ACS Nano. 2008; 2(8): 1653–1660.


Rant U, Arinaga K, Scherer S, Pringsheim E, Fujita S, Yokoyama N, Tornow M, Abstreiter G: "Switchable DNA interfaces for the highly sensitive detection of label-free DNA targets". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 2007; 104(44): 17364–17369.