Watching Single Macromolecules Move in Response to Light

Nature has long inspired scientists with its seemingly unlimited ability to harness solar energy and to utilize it to drive various physiological processes. With the help of man-made molecular photoswitches, we now have the potential to outperform natural systems in many ways, with the ultimate goal of fabricating multifunctional materials that operate at different light wavelengths. An important challenge in developing light-controlled artificial molecular machines lies in attaining a detailed understanding of the photoisomerization-coupled conformational changes that occur in macromolecules and molecular assemblies. A team of chemists and physicists at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, led by David Bléger and Jürgen P. Rabe, member of IRIS Adlershof, have now used force microscopy to provide interesting insights into the behavior of individual photoresponsive molecules and to identify contraction, extension, and crawling events accompanying light-induced isomerization. In particular they have realized a system, in which single macromolecules can “work”, i.e. they were reversibly contracted and stretched on a modified graphite surface by using UV- and blue light, respectively. The paper by C.-L. Lee, T. Liebig, S. Hecht, D. Bléger, and J.P. Rabe was published in the current issue of ACS Nano (DOI: 10.1021/nn505325w), and has been highlighted with a “Perspective” by ACS & ACS Nano (DOI: 10.1021/nn506656r.




Humboldt-Universität schließt Profilpartnerschaft mit der National University of Singapore

Die Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin und die National University of Singapore (NUS) sind nun Profilpartner: Beide Universitäten werden künftig in Forschung und Lehre eng kooperieren und ihren Angehörigen vielfältige Gelegenheiten zum gemeinsamen Forschen, Lehren und Lernen geben sowie den Austausch auf Verwaltungsebene stärken. Die NUS ist eine der besten Universitäten Asiens und mit der HU durch langjährige und erfolgreiche Forschungskooperationen verbunden. Auch IRIS Adlershof hat enge Beziehungen zur NUS aufgebaut. Sichtbarstes Zeichen hierfür sind zwei gemeinsam ausgerichetete KOSMOS Summer Universities in den Jahren 2011 und 2014, sowie Internships für NUS-Studenten und der Austausch von Masterstudenten, Doktoranden und Postdocs.




Professor Jürg Kramer has been elected a member of the National Academy of Science and Engineering - acatech - gewählt

The General Assembly of acatech – the National Academy of Science and Engineering has asked Jürg Kramer, who is a professor for the Department of Mathematics at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin and a member of IRIS Adlershof, to join their ranks. Herr Kramer’s research is concerned with arithmetic geometry and the theory of automorphic forms, as well as mathematic didactics. Furthermore, he is heavily involved with popularizing mathematics. He is the president of the German Mathematical Society, a member of Academia Europaea, speaker of the Berlin Mathematical School, the international research training group “Moduli and Automorphic Forms,” as well as the director of the German Center for Mathematics Teacher Education(DZLM). With his appointment as an acatech member, Herr Kramer will be able to draw upon his considerable expertise as a political and social advisor and help acatech’s thematic networks evaluate recommendations. IRIS Adlershof would like to congratulate Herr Kramer and wishes him much success in his future work.



Forum Junge Spitzenforscher – Humboldt-Universität successful in this year’s competition

Dr. Joachim Paier Andreas Schell

In the annual competition „Forum Junge Spitzenforscher“ launched by the foundation Stiftung Industrieforschung in cooperation with the Humboldt-Innovation GmbH, young HU researchers proved very successful: Five out of six well-endowed prizes were awarded to HU scientists. IRIS is particularly pleased to announce that Andreas Schell was awarded the second prize for his contribution “Novel hybrid materials for quantum optical applications”. Mr. Schell is a PhD student in the group of Prof. Oliver Benson and was financially supported by IRIS Adlershof. Another awardee is Dr. Joachim Paier, a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of IRIS member Prof. Joachim Sauer. We heartily congratulate all winners.




Prof. Matthias Staudacher was elected to be spokesman of the CRC 647

Prof. Dr. Matthias Staudacher, member of the board of IRIS Adlershof, was elected to be spokesman at the Plenary Meeting of the "CRC 647: Space - Time - Matter. Analytic and Geometric Structures." on December 2nd, 2014. The  previous speaker, Prof. Dr. Jochen Brüning, also a member of IRIS Adlershof, was chosen as Deputy Chairman.