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PHYS 8990 Topic

Experimental Biophysics

Susanne Ullrich

Our research group uses modern femtosecond pump-probe spectroscopies to investigate the photophysical and photochemical properties of biomolecular building blocks and their clusters. Biophotonic functions are triggered through light activation. The photoexcited biomolecules can undergo a variety of relaxation processes and the competition between these processes governs the selectivity, efficiency and reliability of their function. Our intention is to discern in detail relaxation processes in individual biomolecules and study the effect of intermolecular interactions (the local environment) on these dynamics. The main emphasis is on experimental research however the interpretation of our data is usually supported by ab inito quantum mechanical calculations. The understanding of dynamical processes in molecules is relevant to a variety of active research areas ranging from biomedical (e.g. light activated drugs) to molecular electronics (e.g. molecular switches) applications.

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