Faculty of Agriculture/Environment/Chemistry

Luminescent organic Molecules

organic light-emitting materials (OLEMs) and their application

  • Luminescent natural products

This research interest focuses on the investigation of light-emitting molecules from bioluminescent organisms and their application as analytical tools. In close collaboration with biologists and material scientists, we aim to discover, synthetically modify and use novel luminescent natural products such as luciferins in a bioanalytical context. Bioluminescence offers the advantage over other technologies of achieving extremely low detection limits while being cost-effective. Our project is divided into several key sections: First, we identify new bioluminescent organisms and their light emitters in order to discover previously unknown light-emitting molecules. This is followed by the material design and synthesis of innovative luminescent materials based on the identified molecules. The chemical optimization of the luminescent natural products aims to maximize their efficiency and stability. Finally, we will develop highly sensitive and cost-effective bioanalytical tests using the newly synthesized molecules. International collaboration with experts from different countries plays a central role in achieving our goals. This research project will not only provide new insights into bioluminescence, but will also make a significant contribution to the development of highly sensitive and cost-efficient bioanalytical assays.

  • BiOLEMs: Biologically inspired organic light-emitting materials

Biologically inspired organic light-emitting materials (BiOLEMs) offer a unique opportunity to learn from nature and develop solutions to overcome some of the biggest challenges of classical organic light-emitting materials (OLEMs). With the development of BiOLEMs as a replacement for heavy metals in organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs), the sustainability and environmental compatibility of this key technology will be significantly strengthened. By analyzing luminescent organisms, which will be investigated in the first sub-area of ​​our research, structure-property relationships will be established in order to develop BiOLEMs with improved properties. In collaboration with physicists, embedding these materials into innovative OLED stack designs enables the production of highly efficient, colorfast, less toxic, environmentally friendly and lower cost OLEDs.

  • Photochemistry

The application of organic light-emitting materials (OLEMs) as photocatalysts in the field of photochemistry opens promising opportunities for reactions such as CO2 reduction and nitrogen fixation, which could enable a CO2-neutral chemical industry. In this subfield, OLEMs are used as photocatalysts to promote photochemical reactions. These approaches form the basis for a future CO2-neutral chemical industry. The development of new photocatalysts, based on the molecules described in the previous subfields, aims to improve the efficiency of critical reactions and enable entirely new reactions.