Tracing Molecular Changes on the
"Genuine" Chemical Time scale -
From Electron Transfers to Complex Re-arrangements
Simply put chemistry
is about molecules which change their shape. It therefore fascinates
chemical physicists and physical chemists (including myself) to trace
such changes in real time. As the "speed limit" of chemical processes
is given by vibrational frequencies of molecules, "real time" can be as
short as a couple of femtoseconds (1 fs = 10-15 s). Thanks
to modern laser technology real time experiments on that time scale are
nowadays close to routine. We apply elaborated femtosecond techniques
to look at diverse chemical process ranging from electron transfer
reactions ("the simplest chemical process") over isomerisations to
complex photo rearrangements. Some of these reaction occur in
biological systems or have relevance for such systems.
To take ever sharper
pictures of such reactions we not only apply femtosecond techniques but
also seek to improve these techniques. We have developed a femtosecond fluorescence
spectrograph with truly unique capabilities and have strongly
contributed to the emerging technique of femtosecond
stimulated Raman spectroscopy (FSRS).
The sections below
highlight some of our former and present research interests. More
detailed descriptions can be found under "Projects".