Junior research group
"Dynamic Processes in Molecules and Surfaces"
In one project, we are interested in the ultrafast dynamics of electrons in atoms and molecules. Moving electrons are at the core of many fundamental properties and processes in chemistry and physics. They determine the optical properties of materials, initiate chemical reactions, and, in the case of charge transfer dynamics, are vital for the functioning of light harvesting and light detecting molecules. Further, the advent of attosecond laser pulses allows for the first time to observe the dynamics of electrons on their natural time scale. We are studying these effects by solving the time-dependent Schroedinger equation with quantum chemical ab-initio methods, which were adapted to the explicitly time-dependent domain.
In the second project we are studying processes at surfaces, with special attention to photo-induced reactions and energy- and phase-relaxation. The challenge here lies in the vast number of electronic and phononic degrees of freedom of the surface, which are often essential for reactions at surfaces, because they can serve as a heat source or sink. This, and the topology of potential energy barriers and wells determines the reactivity of a surface. Currently we are working on the quantitative description of some chosen elementary steps of surface reactions, and the development of more efficient methods to describe the influence of the environment on these steps.