11 years back after the German unification the Science Council evaluated the institutes of the former GDR Academy of Sciences. They concluded that there were most promising activities in the institutes of Physical Chemistry and Organic Chemistry in Berlin-Adlershof and of former Polymer Chemistry in Teltow that could be integrated into a prospective Max-Planck-Institute of Colloids and Interfaces. This proposal was taken up by a committee of the Max-Planck-Society that realized a large potential and need for basic science in this area between physics, chemistry and biology.
Hence the Max-Planck-Institute of Colloids and Interfaces was founded on 01.01.1992.
On 01.10.93 and 01.11.1993 the founding directors Prof. Antonietti, Prof. Lipowsky and Prof. Möhwald took over the joint leadership of the institute and gave it its scientific directions and structure with the departments "Interfaces" (H. Möhwald), "Colloid Chemistry" (M. Antonietti) and "Theory" (R. Lipowsky). Since 01.02.2003 the forth department "Biomaterials" under Prof. Fratzl had been started. On 01.06.2008 the institute could expand again: A 5th department "Biomolecular Systems" (P. H. Seeberger) found an interim stay at the campus of the FU Berlin before it can move into the planned extension of the laboratories at Science Park Potsdam-Golm. The Department of Interfaces was closed on February 1st, 2014 with the retirement of Helmuth Möhwald. Since then he serves as emeritus at the institute.