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The Suhm group is active in Göttingen since 1997, when the vacant chair of H.G. Wagner was filled again. It is an awestruck member of one of the very first Institutes of Physical Chemistry worldwide - by definition an interdisciplinary meeting point. The main research focus of the Suhm group is on closed shell molecules in their electronic ground state, which are probed by vibrational spectroscopy while they interact with other molecules. This molecular sociology approach reveals many interesting aspects of molecular dynamics which have strong fundamental implications in biochemical recognition, materials properties and low level energy conversion. Our research is to a large extent curiosity-driven - no other motivation can beat that on the long term. Experimentally, the focus is on general spectroscopy techniques which do not require the introduction of molecular labels, which are preferentially linear to provide direct intensity information, which allow for the study of isolated molecular complexes and which can thus provide ideal benchmark data for the evaluation of modern quantum-chemical and quantum-dynamical methods. There are also activities in the characterization of more complex systems, but always through the viewing-glass of the multi-experimental reductionist. In the Zeuch sub-group, more reactive molecules, open shell systems and atmospheric processes are studied.
The Suhm group consists of a single-digit number of PhD students, along with shorter term Bachelor, Diploma, and Master students. The goal is to keep their number small enough to ensure intense work on selected topics and to manage a timely publication of the most interesting results, preferably in non-profit society journals. Keeping pace is hard enough with the large number of results coming out of the rather unique cluster spectrometers which have been constructed in Göttingen. Over the years, the group has established a record of comparatively high numbers of female PhD students despite the fact that women are unfortunately underrepresented in classical spectroscopy, if there is no explicit "bio" label. Several PhD students are funded by external excellence scholarships. In their research, PhD students are supported by a permanent scientific staff member (U. Schmitt) and by a longer term postdoc (A. Domanskaya), as well as many visitors from all over the world. In administration, they are supported by a part-time secretary (P. Lawecki).
In teaching (see UniVZ for the current involvement), the group is active in the undergraduate Bachelor Physical Chemistry education, in the advanced Master education in Physical Chemistry as well as in the education of future teachers. It also coordinates a DFG-funded research training group on molecular aggregation. Furthermore, M. Suhm is responsible for the Physical Chemistry equivalence exams for incoming PhD students. T. Zeuch coordinates the Physical Chemistry Colloquium.
Service to the scientific community includes editorial work for PCCP, one of the leading journals in the field, and for Angewandte Chemie, the leading journal in the wider field, as well as work in several prize award committees. M. Suhm is the local representative of the Deutsche Bunsengesellschaft, a unique society of Physical Chemists, and he is a personal tutor of the German National Academic Foundation.
If you are interested to join the group, either as an undergraduate student, as a PhD student, as a Postdoc with funding, as an Emmy Noether fellow working in the field of intermolecular interactions, as a foreign short-term Guest Researcher, or as a Senior Scientist within the Humboldt or Heisenberg award programs, feel free to contact us.
In 2011, the Suhm group has organized the 19. International Conference on "Horizons in Hydrogen Bond Research". The subsequent conferences have taken place in Antwerp in September 2013 and in Wrocław in September 2015.