N.P. ERNSTING - FEMTOSECOND SPECTROSCOPY
Our group works at the intersection of chemistry and optical spectroscopy. We want to understand the function of molecular chromophors in biopolymers on an ultrafast time scale, i.e.
while molecular or intermolecular vibrations are still in phase. Conversely, we also design functional chromophors for diagnostic purposes. Three lines of research can be covered by our personal and experimental resources:
photoreceptors, signal transduction, diagnostics
A is headed by Dr. Mahrwald, B by Dr. Mügge in cooperation with Prof. Ernsting,
and C by Dr. Kovalenko
In our group, you would work on a topic in one of the three fields A,B,C depending on your interests. But this topic will have counterparts in the other two fields, and we try to engage coworkers there too. In this way your progress is important for the others, and of course you can participate in their activity. It is also possible to acquire expert knowledge in two areas, for example combining synthetic work with quantum chemistry and modelling, or combining fs-transient spectroscopy with molecular dynamics. In each field, new methods are constantly being developed and tested. Cooperations with foreign partners allow for work to be carried out jointly in Berlin and in their laboratories.
Each topic is supervised by an experienced member of the group, and that member will concentrate on one collaboration only. This is done in order to use equipment and lab space efficiently. As a consequence, only a few possibilities for joining the group exist at any given time. We value the harmony and quality of our work above everything and much prefer focus, as compared to broad coverage and growth.
In summary, after your PhD you would be well experienced to apply for jobs where chemistry and optics meet, for example
- fluorescent diagnostics,
- high-throughput screening,
- substance identification at a distance,
- biomedical or chemical imaging,
- fabrication and process control of opto-electronic materials,
- optical computing,
- drug binding,
- stereoselective chemistry
Research Practical Course (Forschungspraktikum)
takes 4-6 weeks by appointment. Typical projects in areas B, C are:
- Measurement of a series of absorption and fluorescence spectra for dyes in solution
- Analysis of NMR spectra from duplex DNA (after 6/2007)
- Transient fluorescence measurements with optical Kerr gating
- Transient absorption measurements
- Gas phase spectroscopy
- ns transient absorption
- Spectrograph construction and adjustment
Open topics for Diploma Thesis
- (C) Sub-ps transient fluorescence spectra Tryptophan by optical Kerr gating.
- (C) Construction of a spectral interferometer for measuring refractive-index dispersion n(λ).
- (C) Description of spectral evolution: how significant are three-exponential fits?
(this is a topic from numerical mathematics involving genetic algorithms, deconvolution,
or maximum entropy methods).
- (A) Synthesis of 7-amino-2-cyano-fluorene and aliphatic derivatives.
- (A) Synthesis of a mimetic Tryptophan based on N-methyl-6-quinolinium.
- (B) Molecular Dynamics simulations of a 12-mer DNA duplex.
- (B) NMR structure determination of a 12-mer DNA duplex with a fluorescent label inside.
- Software development
- NLO signal theory
Open topics for PhD Thesis
- (C) Transient absorption and fluorescence spectroscopy of 2-aminopurine in duplex DNA
- (C) Transient absorption and fluorescence spectroscopy of 7-amino-2-nitro-fluorene in duplex DNA
- (C) Transient stimulated Raman spectroscopy of photoreceptors (in application stage)
- (C) Raman microscopy using nonlinear-optical processes (project being written)
- (C) Signal theory for stimulated Raman spectroscopy on electronically excited molecules