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Research at the Institute of Physical Chemistry


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Institute members

Summary of the research areas of the work groups

Chair of Physical Chemistry I (Nanobiophotonics)

Prof. Dr. Rainer Heintzmann

The work group deals with developing techniques to measure multidimensional information in small biological objects such as cells, cellular organelles, molecules or other structures of interest. We seek to unravel how molecules interact in living cells at specific places (e.g. inside organelles) and at well-defined times (e.g. after stimulation with other molecules). To reach this goal, we make use of molecules that can be switched between different fluorescent states by illumination at separate wavelengths. The transitions between the states can be driven into saturation and the arising non-linear dependencies can be used, e.g. by a technique called structured illumination (SI), to reach a theoretically unlimited optical resolution. Further information

Chair of Physical Chemistry II (Material- and Biophotonics)

Prof. Dr. Jürgen Popp

The research of the work group mainly focuses on the development and application of innovative Raman-based methods to answer biomedical questions. Raman spectroscopy and the various Raman-based technologies, e. g. Raman microscopy, SERSsurface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy, TERStip-enhanced Raman spectroscopy or CARScoherent anti-Stokes scattering, are extremely powerful tools to address a broad spectrum of bioanalytical and biomedical problems like rapid pathogen identification, sensitive monitoring of low-concentrated molecules (e. g. drugs, metabolites) or objective clinical cell and tissue diagnostics for an early diagnosis of cancer. Further information

Nano-Spectroscopy Group

Prof. Dr. Volker Deckert

The goal of the research of the work group is to push the lateral resolution of vibrational spectroscopy. The main tool for related projects is so-called tip-enhanced Raman scattering (TERS). We are using plasmonic nanoparticles with specific optical properties at the very end of a sharp tip. With such a probe, a lateral resolution well below the Abbe limit can be achieved. Furthermore, the limits of detection reach single molecule sensitivity. Because the tip can be moved with sub-nanometer precision, structural information with unmatched spatial resolution can be achieved without the need of specific labels. Further information

Molecular Photonics Group

Prof. Dr. Benjamin Dietzek

The research group is focussed on the application and development of time-resolved spectroscopic tools to study photoinduced processes. The main focus is here on the characterization of photoinduced processes, which determine the function of molecular materials and biological paradigms. Spectroscopic techniques used in our research include femtosecond time-resolved transient absorption spectroscopy, transient anisotropy and time-resolved circular-dichroism spectroscopy. These femtosecond time-resolved techniques are complemented by picosecond and nanosecond time-resolved luminescence spectroscopy. Further information

Theoretical Chemistry Group

Prof. Dr. Stefanie Gräfe

Applied Physical Chemistry & Molecular Nanotechnology Group

Prof. Dr. Andrey Turchanin

Molecular Dynamics Group

Prof. Dr. Karl-Ludwig Oehme

Retired Professors

Prof. Dr. Helga Dunken
Prof. Dr. Ulrich-Walter Grummt
Prof. Dr. Wolfram Vogelsberger