MOLECULAR BIOMIMETICS

Our Research

Research in Molecular Biomimetics is interdisciplinary and lies at the interface between biology, physics and chemistry. Our strategy is to connect fundamental studies with application-oriented research to facilitate innovations that promote the transition to a sustainable society.

The focus of Molecular Biomimetics lies in understanding and adapting/mimicking biological reactions that convert solar energy into 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 hydrogenases 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
  •  Develop and analyze photosynthetic microorganisms for biotechnological applications.

We employ and develop a number of techniques, for example within the areas of structural analysis, spectroscopy, mass spectrometry, electrochemistry, molecular biology and metabolic engineering.

Biophysical and Bioinorganic Chemistry

Our basic, frontline research in natural photosynthesis has served as inspiration and guidelines for research in artificial photosynthesis since many years. Our long-term integration of research in natural and man-made systems has become our signature and proven to be a fruitful apporach.

Microbial Chemistry

Research in Microbial Chemistry is of fundamental science character in the borderland between chemistry, cell- and molecular biology, and genetics. The vision is to use a combination of advanced gene technology and synthetic biology to develop and analyze photosynthetic microorganisms to be used in future biotechnological applications. At present, the largest research area aims to develop cyanobacteria which convert solar energy into an energy carrier.