Research Groups (Chemical Department of the IOM)

Prof. Dr. Bernd AbelChemical Department (department head)
Dr. Wolfgang KnolleHertz-Application Lab at the IOM 
Dr. Katrin SiefermannUltrafast Photonics, Complex Systems
Dr. Tom ScherzerSpectroscopy, Analytics
Dr. Ulrich DeckerInstrumental Analytics
Dr. Lutz PragerFunctional Coatings
Dr. Ulrike HelmstedtAtomic Layer Deposition, Smart Surfaces
Dr. Jelger RisseladaTheory Complex Systems
Dr. Christian ElsnerBiofunctional Surfaces
Dr. Agnes SchulzeMembrane Modification
Dr. Aron VargaNano-Electrochemistry, Fuel Cells


Projects (B. Abel)

A selection of the most exciting R&D-projects that are running at the moment.



Mechanisms of interactions of electrons with matter

In the project the mechanisms of interaction of electrons with materials and matter in general are investigated with the aim of basic understanding as well as optimization of technological and materials processes. Spectroscopy with high temporal and lateral resolution is applied together with quantum chemical modelling and standard chemical analysis.



Flyunt,R.; Knolle,W.; Kahnt,A.; Prager, A.; Lotnyk, A.; Malig, J; Guldi, D.; Abel, B., Mechanistic aspects of the radiation-chemical reduction of graphene oxide to graphene-like materials, International Journal of Radiation Biology 2014, 90, No. 6 , 486-494

Abel, B.; Buck, U.; Sobolewski, A. L.; Domcke, W., On the nature and signatures of the solvated electron in water., Physical chemistry chemical physics : PCCP 2012, 14, 22-34.

Siefermann, K. R.; Abel, B., The hydrated electron: a seemingly familiar chemical and biological transient., Angew Chem Int Ed Engl 2011, 50, 5264-5272.

Abel, B. , Hydrated interfacial ions and electrons. , Annual Review of Physical Chemistry 2013, 64, 533-552.

High Harmonics Generation and HHG-spectroscopy

High harmonics table top sources are developed to use them for ultrafast electronic spectroscopy at interfaces and surfaces. For this purpose liquid jets, high pressure laser drilled capillaries and gas jets in combination with nano-structures are employed. The ultimate goal is to develop extreme UV sources for experiments in the laboratory without the need for synchrotron sources or in preparation of experiments at large scale facilities.




Sivis, M.; Duwe, M.; Abel, B.; Ropers, C., Extreme-ultraviolet light generation in plasmonic nanostructures., Nat Phys 2013, 9, 304-309.

Heissler, Patrick; Tsakiris, George; Lugovoy, Evgeny; Waldecker, Lutz; Hoerlein, Rainer; Wenz, Johannes; Heigoldt, Matthias; Khrennikov, Konstantin; Karsch, Stefan; Krausz, Ferenc; Abel, Bernd, Using the third state of matter: high harmonic generation from liquid targets, New Journal of Physics 16 (2014) 113045

Sivis, M.; Duwe, M.; Abel, B.; Ropers, C., Nanostructure-enhanced atomic line emission., Nature 2012, 485, E1-2; discussion E2-3.

Faubel, M.; Siefermann, K. R.; Liu, Y.; Abel, B., Ultrafast soft X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy at liquid water micro jets., Accounts of Chemical Research 2012, 45, 120-130.

Link, O.; Lugovoy, E.; Siefermann, K.; Liu, Y.; Faubel, M.; Abel, B., Ultrafast electronic spectroscopy for chemical analysis near liquid water interfaces: concepts and applications., Appl Phys A-Mater 2009, 96, 117-135.




Functionalized Surfaces

Key aspects of the work of several projects here is to functionalize surfaces for various applications.  





Hassert, R.; Pagel, M.; Ming, Z.; Haupl, T.; Abel, B.; Braun, K.; Wiessler, M.; Beck-Sickinger, A. G., Biocompatible silicon surfaces through orthogonal click chemistries and a high affinity silicon oxide binding peptide., Bioconjugate Chemistry 2012, 23, 2129-2137.

A. Tallaire , M. Lesik , V. Jacques, S. Pezzagna, V.Mille, O. Brinza, J. Meijer, B. Abel, J.F. Roch, A. Gicquel , J. Achard, Temperature dependent creation of nitrogen-vacancy centers in single crystal CVD diamond layers, Diamond & Related Materials, 51 (2015) 55–60

Lach, J., Jeremies, A., Breite D., Abel, B., Mahns, B., Knupfer, M., Matulis, V., Ivashkevich, O., Kersting, B., Encapsulation of the 4-Mercaptobenzoate Ligand by Macrocyclic Metal Complexes: Conversion of a Metallocavitand to a Metalloligand, Inorg. Chem., 53 (2014) 10825-10834

Christian Elsner, Andrea Prager, Ulrich Decker, Sergej Naumov, Bernd Abel, Tailored nano- and micrometer sized structures of gold-nanoparticles at polymeric surfaces via photochemical and kinetic control of the synthesis and deposition process, American Journal of Nano Research and Application, 2 (2014), 1-8

Golecki, M.; Lach, J.; Jeremies, A.; Lungwitz, F.; Fronk, M.; Salvan, G.; Zahn, D. R.; Park, J.; Krupskaya, Y.; Kataev, V.; Klingeler, R.; Buchner, B.; Mahns, B.; Knupfer, M.; Siles, P. F.; Grimm, D.; Schmidt, O. G.; Reis, A.; Thiel, W. R.; Breite, D.; Abel, B.; Kersting, B., Chemisorption of Exchange-Coupled [Ni2 L(dppba)](+) Complexes on Gold by Using Ambidentate 4-(Diphenylphosphino)benzoate Co-Ligands., Chemistry 2013, 19, 7787-7801.



Dust Mass Spectrometry in Space

Recent results by the Cosmic Dust Analyzer and other Cassini instruments revealed a large subsurface ocean in contact with the moons rocky core below the ice crust (e.g., Postberg et al. 2009). The ocean likely harbors hydrothermal sites with high astrobiological potential and is connected to the plume (Figure by F. Postberg, 2015). 

The Abel group is also engaged in laboratory experiments (collaboration with the Postberg group in Heidelberg and the Srama group in Stuttart) for interpreting mass spectra taken in space missions.



Postberg, F.; Kempf, S.; Schmidt, J.; Brilliantov, N.; Beinsen, A.; Abel, B.; Buck, U.; Srama, R., Sodium salts in E-ring ice grains from an ocean below the surface of Enceladus. , Nature 2009, 459, 1098-1101.

Kempf, S.; Srama, R.; Grun, E.; Mocker, A.; Postberg, F.; Hillier, J. K.; Horanyi, M.; Sternovsky, Z.; Abel, B.; Beinsen, A.; Thissen, R.; Schmidt, J.; Spahn, F.; Altobelli, N., Linear high resolution dust mass spectrometer for a mission to the Galilean satellites. , Planet Space Sci 2012, 65, 10-20.

F. Wiederschein, E. Vöhringer-Martinez, A. Beinsen, F. Postberg, J. Schmidt, R. Srama, F. Stolz, H. Grubmüller, and B. Abel, Charge Separation and Isolation in Strong Water Droplet Impacts, Phys.Chem.Chem.Phys., 2015, 17, 6858

Switchable Polymers

Aluminium Innovations Award 2014 (Special Prize).







Amyloid Systems

Neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and the transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) are characterized by abnormal protein deposits in the form of highly symmetric amyloid fibrils. Amyloid fibrils are polypeptide wirelike assemblies in which the polypeptide backbone is arranged in a specific and characteristic cross-b-sheet quaternary structure. However, the molecular mechanism(s) of fibril formation are still not fully understood and are currently the subject of intense research.

Within the SFB-TR 102 we investigate the impact of nanoparticles on the fibrillation of proteins and peptides.


Raz, Y.; Adler, J.; Vogel, A.; Scheidt, A.; Häupl, T.; Abel, B.; Huster, D.; Miller, Y. The influence of the ?K280 mutation and N- or C-terminal extensions on the structure, dynamics, and fibril morphology of the tau R2 repeat. , Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys. 2014, 16, 2729-2730.

Anika Gladytz , Maximilian Wagner, Tilmann Häupl, Christian Elsner, and Bernd Abel, Structure-Making Effects of Metal Nanoparticles in Amyloid Peptide Fibrillation, Part. Part. Syst. Charact. (2014), DOI: 10.1002/ppsc.201400222

Gladytz, A.; Lugovoy, E.; Charvat, A.;  Häupl, T.; Siefermann, K. R.; Abel, B., Intermediates caught in the act: Tracing insulin amyloid fibril formation in time by combined optical spectroscopy, light scattering, mass spectrometry and microscopy, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 17 (2015) 918-927



Smart Design Coatings

Together with industry partners we develop smart design coatings (functional, durable, antireflective, etc.) for materials and devices of our daily life. 



Confidential, no publication