Institute of Physical Chemistry

Institute of Physical Chemistry

The Institute of Physical Chemistry (IPC) of the Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena (FSU) is a spectroscopic research center with the main research focus lying on the development and application of innovative frequency-, time- and spatially resolved laser spectroscopic methods and techniques ranging from the UV into the NIR region. Head of the institute is Prof. Jürgen Popp, the coordinator of Photonics4Life, who is also head of the Institute of Photonic Technology. Tight contractual links for mutual collaborations are in place on the institutional level between the two institutes. The IPC hosts about 60 employees, 30 of which belong to Prof. Popp’s group and who will contribute to Photonics4Life.

In particular vibrational spectroscopic methods (huge variety of linear and non-linear Raman and IR absorption techniques) are applied and developed since these methods yield a fingerprint like information about the investigated molecules or systems and are capable to derive valuable information about interactions and/or changes in different environments. These vibrational spectroscopic experiments are accompanied by various other optical spectroscopic methods like e.g. UV/VIS absorption and fluorescence spectroscopy to achieve the maximal information content. The main emphasis of these investigations is on the specific detection and elucidation of the structure of molecules, the derivation of structure-property as well as structure dynamics relationships. Thereby bio- and material photonics are setting up the two main priorities of the research activities.

In the Biophotonics field the IPC is mainly concerned with theoretical and spectroscopic analysis of natural mimetic reactions, protein analysis and active agent/target interactions. These studies are important for the development of new and more effective active agents. Beside this the IPC concentrates on the investigation of different biological tissues i.e. quality control of active components in plants and their modification by environmental influences as well as the identification and localization of pharmaceutical relevant substances in tissues. Another important research goal that is pursued is the investigation of aerosols i.e. the rapid analysis and characterization of microorganisms by means of Raman spectroscopy in combination with statistical data evaluation methods (e.g. support vector machines). Currently this approach is being extended to various other applications where microorganism contaminations are troublesome e.g. food processing technologies and especially medical applications.

This research direction of Biophotonics is also pursued by the junior research group „Jenaer BioChip Initiative” which has the aim to develop robust, reliable and cost efficient analytical systems for a chip based detection of biomolecules and point-of-care diagnostics. The JBCI is financed by the BMBF. The group consists of three Ph.D. students, an engineer, a postdoc, and a junior group leader and is further assisted by several students and diploma students. The scientific mentor of the JBCI is Prof. Popp.


Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena
Helmholtzweg 4
07743 Jena



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