Activity Code: ERC-StG-PE4
Principal Investigator: Dr. Emad Flear Aziz
Host institution:  Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin für Materialien und Energie


The goal of the proposed project is to perform a systematic study of the electronic structure and the dynamic behaviour of specifically selected metalloporphyrin materials in solution, and at liquid-solid interfaces, with a time resolution covering the range from sub-femtosecond up to picoseconds which is fundamental for their biochemical properties. Metalloporphyrins play a key role in a wide range of processes, such as the light energy conversion in photosynthesis, or in haem proteins performing the transport of small ligands like oxygen. Because of their peculiar optical, electronic and magnetic properties, they are potential candidates for technological applications like in molecular electronics. It is of fundamental importance to gain a detailed understanding of the structural and dynamic properties of these materials under realistic conditions (i.e. ambient pressure, room temperature, and in heterogeneous environments). Soft X-ray spectroscopy is an ideal tool for this purpose, which has recently been implemented by the PI for the investigation of applied materials in the liquid phase, drawing on international recognition of his achievements. 
Taking advantage from his broad expertise, the PI extended the soft X-ray spectroscopy to biochemical systems in solutions for the first time. Since last year the PI became the youngest group leader at HZB, and Junior Professor at the Freie Universitat Berlin. Here, the PI proposes to use the laser pump / soft X-ray probe spectroscopy at first in the sub-picosecond domain. The experiments will extended to femtosecond resolution at the X-ray Free Electron Laser facility. To address sub-femtosecond processes, the systematic scanning of the systems with core-clock spectroscopy is intended. The study will provide fundamental knowledge about the electronic structure and dynamics of metalloporphyrin materials which are essential for different applications, thus helping significantly to enhance their performance.

Project details

Start date: 01-09-2011 
End date: 31-08-2016 
Duration: 60 months 
Project cost: 1499000 Euro 
Project Funding: 1499000 Euro 
Funding Scheme: ERC Starting Grant 2011
Administrative Contact Person: Yvonne TOMM (Dr)

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    • Dr. Angela Richter
    • Delegate for the research area Earth and Environment
      Helmholtz Association