Leif studied Physics at the University Hamburg and University Uppsala concluding his diploma with a theoretical topic on polarizable potential functions in molecular dynamics simulations. For his doctoral thesis he shifted from theory towards a more experimental topic, developing a method and instrument for the local chemical modification of surfaces based on enzyme-functionalized AFM probes. After finishing his PhD-thesis he worked at a company developing scientific instrumentation for automated force-spectroscopy on biomolecules and polymers. Moving on in his professional career in 2008 he developed industrial instrumentation for precision thickness gauging based on radiometric and laser measurements.
In 2011 Leif returned to academia to work at the Max-Planck-Institute for Meteorology where he provided the scientific community with instrumentation for laboratory and field research. He joined the chair of Prof. Cuniberti at the Technical University Dresden in July 2018 and is now working on novel nano-material based sensors. Leif has a strong background in electrical engineering and is holding several patents from a range of disciplines.