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Enrica Bordignon: Proteins in Action

The Bordignon group investigates at coarse-grained level structural changes of proteins during their function and the coupled rearrangement of the hydration water molecules. To that end, we apply site-directed spin labeling EPR (Electron Paramagnetic Resonance) to extract dynamic information of selected side chains and their relative distances (1-15 nm range) and Overhauser dynamic nuclear polarization (ODNP) techniques to characterize the properties of the water molecules surrounding the spin probes.

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Simon Ebbinghaus: Protein Solvation and Aggregation

The Ebbinghaus group is interested in studying biomolecular structure, function and aggregation directly in cellular environments. Therefore, special in-cell techniques are used and the results are interpreted by comparative in vitro experiments in cell-like environments and dilute solutions.

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Christof Hättig: Quantum Chemistry

The Hättig group is working on a number of projects concerned with the accurate description of interactions between molecules and of molecules with surfaces, solvents and external (e.g. electric or magnetic) fields. The main tools for these investigations are the well-known quantum chemistry package TURBOMOLE, to which they also contribute as a development group, and the quantum chemistry packages DALTON, CFOUR, and Molpro.

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Martina Havenith-Newen: Laser Spectroscopy and Biophotonics

Kinetic THz absorption (KITA) has been developed by the Havenith group as a tool to probe changes in solvation dynamics upon biological function. KITA studies of protein folding in real time revealed that changes in solvent dynamics are coupled to secondary structure formation of the protein.

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Christian Herrmann: Protein Interactions

The Herrmann group investigates the interactions of proteins with other proteins and small molecules like water and co-solvents by means of biophysical and structural techniques. Thereby, they address the mechanism of biological processes (signal transduction) and, in addition, they want to elucidate the quantitative relationship between protein complex structures and the underlying binding energetics.

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Dominik Marx: Ab Initio Simulations

The general theme of the Marx research group consists in understanding structure, dynamics, and chemical reactions of complex molecular many-body systems - bridging the gap between chemistry and physics. The aim is to capture nature as closely as possible by theoretical means - the basic entities being nuclei and electrons.

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Karina Morgenstern: Atomistic and Molecular Structures and Dynamics

The research methods of Physical Chemistry I are the Scanning Tunnelling Spectroscopy, Spectroscopy with STM, Inelastic Electron Tunneling Spectroscopy, IET manipulation, Femtochemistry on the nanoscale, FTIR-Spectroscopy, High Resolution Electron Energy Loss Spectroscopy and X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy (XPS).

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Martin Muhler: Heterogeneous Catalysis

The Muhler group performs fundamental research in the area of heterogeneous catalysis and aims to develop catalysts based on mechanistic insight. The scientific challenge is the elucidation of the reactions on the atomic level and their interplay with the complex surface chemistry of heterogeneous catalysts, which usually consist of many phases and components, often present as nanoparticles or as X-ray amorphous layers.

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Patrick Nürnberger: Ultrafast Photochemistry

The Nürnberger group investigates ultrafast photochemical reactions in real time. Such reactions often comprise several intermediates, but the actual reaction steps are simply unknown in many cases. Our focus of interest is on identifying those short-lived species, often related to rearrangement, photolysis, or ring-closure reactions, by femtosecond time-resolved spectroscopy. In this way, the reaction sequence is unraveled and the associated time scales are determined. Beyond disclosing how the reaction proceeds, we also explore various possibilities to selectively steer it into a desired direction.

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Wolfram Sander: Physical Organic Chemistry

The focus of the Sander group is in the field of physical organic chemistry. The ambitious goals of physical organic chemistry are to predict structures and properties of reactants, transition states, and products of any reaction and thus to predict the course of chemical reactions.

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Lars Schäfer: Molecular Simulation

The Schäfer group investigates links between structure, dynamics, and function of large biomolecular systems by means of computer simulations. To that end, we develop and apply theoretical methods to study biomolecules at the atomic level, mostly using molecular dynamics (MD) simulations.

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Rochus Schmid: Computational Materials Chemistry

The research of the Schmid group focuses on the development and application of theoretical methods for the simulation of complex systems in materials chemistry on an atomistic level. All the projects have in common that they strive to devise atomistic models which are able to bridge the length- and time-scales and thus to overcome the intrinsic problem in the simulation of materials systems.

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  • For further information on the research groups of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry please refer to the page “Chairs and Workgroups”.
  • For further information on the research groups of the Research Department Interfacial Systems Chemistry (RD IFSC) please refer to the page “Scientists”.