Prof. Dr. Volker Deckert receives the Chinese Changjiang Scholar Award – the highest academic award given by the Ministry of Education of the People’s Republic of China to leading scientists in the field of higher education. Considered a pioneer in tip-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (TERS), he is a research department head at Leibniz Institute for Photonic Technologies (Leibniz IPHT) and professor of physical chemistry (nanospectroscopy) at Friedrich Schiller University in Jena, Germany.

Each year, only a few international researchers are selected to be recognized with the prestigious Changjiang Scholar Award. Typically, the prestigious scholarships go to top Chinese scientists. For Volker Deckert, the scholarship includes a Yangtze River Visiting Chair at the School of Physics and Information Technology at Shaanxi Normal University in Xian, China with appropriate equipment to implement joint projects there. Volker Deckert will spend about two months a year in Xian for the three-year funding period to research and teach in the field of nano-optics. Together with his co-awardee Prof. Dr. Zhang Zhenglong, professor at Shaanxi Normal University, he will supervise students online and on site and give lectures. The first trip is planned for 2022.

Joining forces for joint experiments in nano-spectroscopy

„I feel very honored and see the award as confirmation and recognition of the work on TERS with my teams at Leibniz IPHT and the University of Jena,“ says Volker Deckert. „I am very happy to now take the cooperation with Zhang Zhenglong at Shaanxi University to a new level. He used to be an Alexander von Humboldt fellow in my group at Leibniz IPHT and we have been working together very successfully since then.“ The fellowship will make it possible to combine forces and strengthen the exchange of scientific experience, he said. For example, optical experiments at low temperatures are planned, which have not yet been possible in Jena, adds the expert in nano-spectroscopy. This will make it possible to gain a better understanding of fundamental processes on the nanometer scale, he adds.

In his research department „Nanoscopy“ at Leibniz IPHT, Volker Deckert deals with the development and application of marker-free spectroscopic methods for the analysis of chemically and biologically relevant systems in the nanometer range. His methods are mainly applied in instrumentation and life sciences.

The award ceremony for the Changjiang Scholar Award took place at the end of October during a digital event with high-ranking representatives from Shaanxi Normal University, Friedrich Schiller University Jena and Leibniz IPHT.