TU Berlin

Dr. Franz-Josef SchmittResearch

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Before PhD (related references to the publications list)


·         Clarification of the coupled electronic states and the excitation energy transfer (EET) dynamics in the phycobiliprotein (PBP) and Chl d containing light harvesting antenna of the cyanobacterium  Acaryochloris marina by measurements of the time resolved fluorescence emission spectra and modelling with rate equation systems [1-7].

·         Contribution to identify the primary donor in photosystem II (PS II) of A.marina as a strongly coupled Chl a/ Chl d heterodimer [3]. 

·         Transfer of the theoretical model scheme to systems with electron (ET) transfer coupled to the local environment and strongly coupled aggregates of plant light harvesting complexes (LHC) [8-10]

·         Explanation of the temperature dependent decay associated spectra (DAS) of water soluble Chlorophyll binding protein (WSCP) assuming an excitonically coupled Chl dimer modulated by the local protein environment on different time scales. Simulation of the DAS [11-15]

·         Experimental studies and bottom-up modelling of structures with hierarchically rising complexity to unambiguously describe coupled networks with many free parameters. Modelling of the whole PS II dynamics  on the molecular level (EET and ET steps) measured in the green alga Chlorella and leaves of the higher plant Arabidopsis thaliana. Derivation of thermodynamic quantities (e.g. entropy) under nonequilibrium conditions from rate equations [16-19, 37].

·         Construction of a new mobile setup containing a 16-channel photomultiplier with flexible fiber optics, exchangeable light sources and a mobile Helium-driven temperature regulator (10 K – 350 K) for the spectroscopy of samples in cuvettes, on surfaces or of whole leaves in vivo, development of handheld devices [19, 20, 39].

After PhD (related references to the publications list)

·         Spectroscopy of artificial hybrid structures and description with modified Förster mechanism. Discovery of temperature switch-able hybrid structures formed from cyanobacterial phycobiliproteins and semiconductor nanocrystals [21-25].

·         Setup and operation of a laboratory with novel methods of fluorescence microscopy with highest spatial and temporal resolution for microscopic (spectral) analysis at the cellular, subcellular and molecular level [26]. Study of the structure and functional organization of pigment-protein complexes (phytochrome [27]), cyanobacteria [28] and whole plants [29] with a variety of spectral methods. Simultaneous fluorescence spectroscopy, fluorescence correlation spectroscopy and FLIM.

·         Development and application of fluorescent proteins used as environmental (e.g. pH, reactive oxygen species (ROS), NADH) sensors and applications for studies of generation, signalling and decay of ROS in plants [30-35].

·         pH measurements in single mitochondria marked with a pH sensitive GFP derivative [35]. Analysis of the trajectory of the mitochondrial dynamics, simultaneously determination of pH in mitochondria and cytosol with multiparameter fluorescence lifetime imaging microscopy (FLIM)  [26, 35 (rated as key scientific article by Global Medical discovery)].

·         Participation in the development and test of a new camera system suitable for high frame-rate FLIM based on gated acquisition with single photon avalanche diodes (SPADs) [36]. (Cooperation with research groups in Milano (Italy) and Stockholm (Sweden))

·         Influence of reactive oxygen species (ROS) onto the photosynthetic acitivity, especially on PS II [30-35].

·         Identification of the involvement of phytochrome B into the protection from UV-radiation (cooperation with Moscow State University and the Russian Academy of Sciences (Russia)) [30, 32].

·         Sugesstions for mechanisms how polyaromatic hydrocarbons are involved into the generation of ROS in plant leaves [33].

·         Analysis of the destructive impact of naphthalene as typical polyaromatic hydrocarbon as ROS sensitizer [33].

·         First direct observation of ROS waves propagating in A. thaliana leaves.  

·         Application of novel fluorophores in photoacoustic imaging [38,40]

·         Novel teaching projects for blended learning in mathematics and practical courses of physical chemistry [41]


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