Horst Hahn studied Materials Science at the Universität des Saarlandes and received his Ph.D. from the Technische Universität Berlin.
He was then a post doctoral fellow at the Universität des Saarlandes and from 1985 to 1987 a Research Associate in the Materials Science Division at Argonne National Laboratory. Subsequently, he was Research Assistant Professor in the Materials Research Laboratory at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign for two years.
In 1992, he became Associate Professor of Materials Science at RutgersThe State University of New Jersey.
From 1992 to 2004 Horst Hahn was Full Professor in the Department of Materials Science at Technische Universität Darmstadt and Head of the Thin Films Division.
Since April 2004 Professor Horst Hahn is Executive Director of the Institute for Nanotechnology at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) and Director of the Research Laboratory Nanomaterials located at the Technische Universität Darmstadt. Professor Hahn was one of the cofounders of SusTech Darmstadt GmbH&Co KG, a startup company in the area of sustainable chemistry and nanotechnology and is Honorary Professor at the University of Hyderabad, India, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou, China and Distinguished Professor of the Indian Institute of Technology Madras, Chennai, India. His main research interests are in the areas of synthesis, characterization and physical and chemical properties of nanostructured materials in the form of thin films, nanoparticles and bulk materials.