Probing Ultrafast Chirality Changes in the Infrared

We are interested in spectroscopic methods which are both structure-sensitive and fast enough to gain direct information about the rearrangement of atoms in light-induced chemical reactions. Two related techniques that are both sensitive to molecular geometry via the coupling of neighbouring molecular groups are two-dimensional infrared (2D-IR) and vibrational circular dichroism (VCD) spectroscopy. The recording of VCD spectra of transient species is an experimental challenge currently addressed in our group. With this new technique we hope to be able to detect short-lived chiral intermediates in photochemical reactions and local conformational changes in folding peptides. In addition, thiopeptide model systems are devised for the further development of transient 2D-IR spectroscopy. We also test novel biomimetic potoswitches for new applications in biophysics.

The following topics are at the center of our current work:

  • Probing Ultrafast Chirality Changes in the Infrared
  • Development of time-resolved chiral-sensitive infrared spectroscopy
  • Conformational dynamics of thiopeptides
  • Time-resolved IR-spectroscopy of novel photoswitches