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Ultrafast Spectroscopy

Scientific Profile 

The Ultrafast Spectroscopy group investigates light-matter interactions in photoresponsive molecules and materials. The reactivity of electronically excited states and the derivation of structure-dynamic-function relationships are the focus of our research. In addition to methodological developments towards in situ spectroscopic characterization of electron transfer cascades. Another research focus is the investigation of semiconductor nanostructures for photocatalytic water splitting. For this purpose, strategies for coupling quantum dots and nanorods with metal particles or molecular reaction centers are developed and charge separation processes at the resulting interfaces are investigated.

In-situ resonance Raman spectroelectrochemistry allows the investigation of electronically excited states in molecular intermediates of electron transfer cascades.
Molecularly functionalized photoanodes represent an important class of materials for the production of dye-sensitized solar cells and photoelectrochemical cells.
Rod-shaped nanostructures based on CdS or CdSe functionalized with metal nanoparticles are interesting systems for light-driven hydrogen generation. The relationships between structural factors (e.g. size and composition of the metal particle) and the function-determining light-driven processes are investigated spectroscopically.

Research topics

Spectroscopy for the characterization of electronically excited states in photoresponsive molecules and materials

  • In situ spectroscopy for the characterization of electronically excited states in photoresponsive molecules and materials
  • Mechanistic investigations on photodynamic therapy - photophysics and photochemistry of low molecular weight compounds in human cells
  • Investigations of photoinduced reactivity in macromolecules
  • Synthesis and characterization of molecular-functionalized photoelectrodes
  • Synthesis of semiconductor nanostructures (quantum dots, nanorods) and functionalization with catalytically active centers (metal particles, molecular reaction centers) and 
  • Mechanistic investigation of charge separation processes at the semiconductor/metal or semiconductor/molecule interface

The research topics of the group combine the controlled production of photoactive materials with their detailed spectroscopic characterization. Thereby, we obtain a insights into the function-determining light-induced processes in the investigated molecules and materials.

Application fields

  • Photocatalysis, in particular artificial photosynthesis
  • Light-energy conversion in dye-sensitized solar cells
  • Photo-triggered drug activation and release

The scientific applications of the work aim at an optimized design of molecules and materials by a detailed mechanistic understanding. Technological applications are mainly in the areas of light-energy conversion and drug release and activation. 

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