Thomas Risse and Robert Bittl have successfully acquired projects for the DFG Priority Program EPR spectroscopy: from biological cells to nano materials.
Electron spins serve as unique probes in material and life sciences. Electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) can visualize the properties of these. In order to investigate spin properties at a higher sensitivity, the German Research Foundation (DFG - Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft) has extended the Priority Program 1601 “New Frontiers in Sensitivity for EPR Spectroscopy – From Biological Cells to Nano Materials” with funding of 7.9 million euros for an additional three years.
Robert Bittl (Research Fields E2, E3, D3, and E4) is spokesperson of the joint lab “BeJEL” (Berlin Joint EPR Lab) of the FU Berlin and the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB). The purpose of BeJEL is to elucidate the functions of molecular machines, the electronic properties of solar cells and catalytic reactions using EPR spectroscopy. UniCat Professor Thomas Risse (UniCat Research Fields D1 and D2) is also actively involved at BeJEL.
In competition with research groups all over Germany, BeJEL has thus far succeeded in bringing six out of a total of 27 funded Priority Program projects to Berlin. “The new funding support through the DFG Priority Program will considerably strengthen Berlin as a center for EPR”, states Prof. Robert Bittl.
With the aid of DFG funding of 1.4 million euros, BeJEL aims to advance EPR in the THz range and ultra-high vacuum. Miniature probes and spin-labeling for the study of proteins in biological cells are to be developed. An additional aim is to understand the processes within inorganic and organic solar cell materials.