Research Program

schematic sketch of a photoexcited nanoparticle which drives a chemical reaction
Photo: Prof.Bargheer/Dr.Stete

Summary of research program:

Light-driven chemistry at nanoscale metals is an emerging, interdisciplinary research field. It is based on experimental and theoretical expertise ranging from nano-optics and condensed matter physics to physical chemistry and organic and inorganic chemistry.

The vision is not only to control chemical reactions via the catalytic properties of nanoscale metals, but also to enable them energetically
by sunlight.

Chemical reactions that are amplified by coupling light to charge oscillations in the metal are known as "plasmonic chemistry", with controversial details such as the relevance of charge transfer and local heating in various reactions.


Our initiative aims at:

  • developing a comprehensive, fundamental microscopic understanding of the elementary processes that lead to light-driven chemical reactions at nanoscale metals.
  • establish new chemical protocols, to make useful chemical reactions more selective and efficient

We emphasize ultrafast elementary steps and concentrate on physical processes that form the basis of relevant chemical reactions and take place at nanoscale metals, such as organic coupling reactions and polymerizations, and the production and functionalization of particles.