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Scholarship holders from Saratow visiting Leibniz-IPHT

For six months, chemists Natalia Markina and Alexey Markin will be researching new nanostructures for highly sensitive spectroscopic investigation methods at Leibniz Institute for Photonic Technologies (Leibniz-IPHT). With support of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), the two fellows from the University of Saratow are visiting the Jena Research Institute for the second time.

For six months, Natalia Markina and Alexey Markin from University of Saratow will work at Leibniz-IPHT. Picture: private

The common research interests motivated Natalia Markina and Dr. Alexey Markin to contact the research group led by Dr. Dana Cialla-May at Leibniz-IPHT. "The scientists are internationally known and respected in the field of surface enhanced Raman spectroscopy. We met at a conference and started a joint project. Last year we have been at Leibniz-IPHT for the first time," says Alexey Markin. 

Surface enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) requires tiny metal structures that amplify the optical signal by several orders of magnitude. "So far, the nanostructures have mostly been made of gold or silver, i.e. precious metals that are very expensive. Together with Natalia and Alexey, we are working on methods with which we can produce structures from cheaper copper," explains Cialla-May. The aim of the cooperation is to modify these new substrates in such a way that they are chemically stable and show high signal enhancement. In the next step, they will be used in miniaturized chips, e.g. for the detection of biomolecules. The German-Russian team has published its work in this relatively young research field in a recent scientific review article. doi.org/10.1016/j.trac.2018.09.004

The Russian research couple enjoy their stay in Jena as part of the DAAD's Mikhail Lomonosov Programme not only scientifically. "We feel very comfortable in Jena - at work as well as in our spare time, e.g. during hiking in the Kernbergen. Our next visit in the coming year is already being planned," says Markin.

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