2D-IR Spectroscopy
Photo: Illustration: H. Müller-Werkmeister
Illustration of 2D-IR Spectroscopy.

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Ultrafast Structural Dynamics - Watching Molecules in Action

The group of Henrike Müller-Werkmeister is working on ultrafast structural dynamics in chemical and biochemical systems. Our research is  to "film molecules in action".

We focus on timescales starting in the femtosecond regime and picosecond regime, with occasional experiments up to seconds and longer. Experimentally, we mainly use spectroscopic approaches, in particular 2D-IR spectroscopy, which is inherently structure-sensitive. Aside from 2D-IR we are also involved in other structural dynamics experiments, mainly with X-Rays as structural probes in time-resolved crystallography experiment and electrons in ultrafast electron diffraction experiments.

We are interested in fundamentals of reaction dynamics (i.e. photochemistry, very useful as tool for time-resolved crystallography etc.) vibrational energy transfer, spin-crossover dynamics and structural rearrangements like bond-breaking events and how these fast processes connect to phenomena on longer timescales with particular emphasis on protein dynamics, allostery and structure function correlation. More generally, the scientific questions are driven by a curiosity to understand the physicochemical basis of biological processes using advanced experimental tools.


Come join us in this adventurous research at the intersection of physics, chemistry and biochemistry. 

 -> Regular openings for MSc or PhD students <-

current openings (04/2020)

Postdoc (2y) in ultrafast 2D-IR spectroscopy/development of high-throughput spectroscopy for environmental analytics: Background in ultrafast spectroscopy, optics design & work with femtosecond lasers is necessary, good data analysis and programming skills are beneficial, experience with vibrational spectroscopy/2D-IR is beneficial but not required -  Project collaboration with Materials Science (C. Pacholski) & Fraunhofer Institutes locally in Golm.

PhD (3y) in Biophysical Chemistry/2D-IR spectroscopy: Background in Biophysics, Biochemistry or Chemistry necessary, experience with protein samples is beneficial, experience with vibrational spectroscopy/FTIR is benefical - Project in collaboration with DESY Hamburg

PhD (3y) in Biophysical Chemistry/ultrafast spectroscopy & serial crystallography: Background in Biophysics, Biochemistry or Chemistry necessary, experience with protein samples would be ideal, prior experience with either vibrational spectroscopy or crystallography would be beneficial - Project is part of the excellence cluster UniSysCat

Our main technique is 2D-IR spectroscopy (in the lab in Golm) and we using and advancing time-resolved serial synchtrotron crystallography  (in collaboration, mainly at DESY in Hamburg).