Biophysical and Bioinorganic Chemistry

The focus of Biophysical and Bioinorganic Chemistry lies in studying biological reactions that convert solar energy into chemical energy. However, we also study other gas or small molecule converting biological reactions that are of relevance for the transition to sustainable societies. On the basis of these fundamental studies, we adapt/mimic such reactions for the production of solar fuels or high-value products. Specific examples of our research topics include:

  • Electron and proton transfer in biological systems
  • Energy conversion in natural photosynthesis
  • Mechanistic studies of photosystem II, hydrogenases, Cu-oxidases, CODH and nitrogenases
  • Enzyme design and production of artificial enzymes in vitro and in vivo
  • Synthesis and characterization of molecular and material-based catalysts for CO2, and N2 reduction, H2-formation/oxidation, and water oxidation
  • Assembly and testing of devices for solar or electrical energy storage in fuels
  • Development of microorganisms for biotechnological applications

For these studies, we employ and develop a number of techniques, including molecular biology, protein biochemistry, membrane-inlet mass spectrometry, EPR (electron paramagnetic resonance), electrochemistry, X-ray spectroscopy, fluorescence, thermoluminescence, femtosecond serial X-ray crystallography, electron microscopy and neutron diffraction. In biomimetic projects, we synthesize both molecular and heterogeneous catalysts, mostly from earth-abundant elements.

Last modified: 2021-11-26