Laser Molecular Spectroscopy & Environmental Physics
We develop modern methods of laser spectroscopy, mass spectrometry and quantum chemistry to characterize molecules, radicals, ions, clusters and nanostructures. The central objective is to determine the geometric and electronic structure and optical and chemical properties. We use intense laser sources in the IR-VIS-UV spectral range (OPO and FEL) and various cluster sources in combination with molecular beams or cryogenic ion traps.
Solvation & Biophysics & Chirality
Intermolecular forces determine the interaction between biomolecules and water. In order to explain phenomena such as biomolecular and Chiral recognition, protein folding and enzyme catalysis at the molecular level, we study cluster and aggregates of biomolecules such as amino acids, peptides, proteins, neurotransmitters, flavins, vitamins, enzyme active sites and their hydration shell ("biological water").
Astrochemical & Plasmas & Planetary Atmospheres
We investigate transient, highly reactive species (radicals, ions, clusters) and trace gases of central importance in the chemistry of the interstellar medium ("astrobiology", origin of life in the universe), low-temperature plasmas (flames, soot, discharges), and planetary atmo- and ionospheres.
New Materials: Nano Structures & Hybrids
The central objective of nanotechnology is the constant miniaturization and development of novel nanomaterials with tailored optical, electronic, and chemical properties. In this context, we study for example doped silicon clusters (doping on the nanoscale), passivated silicon clusters, and hybrid structures of hydrocarbons (nanographene) and metal clusters.