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Seminarium MTPR - Prof. H. M. Müller-Werkmeister

Ultrafast structural dynamics studies of molecular and biomolecular systems

Date: November 22, 2023 13:00 – 14:00
Speaker: Prof. Henrike M. Müller-Werkmeister (University of Potsdam, Germany)

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Observing molecular dynamics experimentally with highest spatial and temporal resolution combined, is one of the biggest challenges in chemistry and biochemistry. Understanding and resolving structure-dynamics relationships will help to further understand complex molecular function. Few experimental methods allow to resolve multiscale dynamics and structural information in the same experiment from femtoseconds onwards.
2D-IR spectroscopy (ultrafast multidimensional infrared spectroscopy), can be performed as table-top experiment in solution state and is the key methodology in the laser lab in Potsdam. Inhomogeneities of molecular ensembles are accessible and can be resolved by 2D-IR, similarly energy transport pathways become directly accessible on the relevant timescale. I will introduce the basics of 2D-IR and review progress on studies of biomolecular dynamics (proteins and carbohydrates [1]).
While 2D-IR is an extremely powerful method to investigate molecular dynamics in solution, it doesn’t provide full atomic resolution. Ultrafast time-resolved diffraction, either using X-Rays at XFELs and synchrotrons, now well established for protein dynamics [2,3] and under development as single-shot serial experiment for materials, and UED – ultrafast electron diffraction [4], primarily on materials, give access to fully resolved dynamic structures at room temperature

[1] J. Chem. Phys. 158, 145101, 2023
[2] Nat. Methods, Vol. 15, pp. 907-904(11), 2018
[3] Science 365 (6458), 1167-1170, 2019
[4] Nat. Comm., 11 (1), 2020