Suhm Research Group

About us

The Suhm group is located at one of the very first Institutes of Physical Chemistry worldwide and has a research focus on the vibrational spectroscopy of non-covalent interactions, typically for molecules in their electronic ground state. This molecular sociology approach reveals many interesting aspects of molecular dynamics which have fundamental implications in biochemical recognition, materials properties and low level energy conversion. Our research is to a large extent curiosity-driven. An important goal is to create experimental reference values which can be used to judge the performance of state-of-the-art quantum-chemical and quantum-dynamical methods. Towards this benchmarking goal, several rather unique supersonic jet spectrometers have been constructed in Göttingen. The focus is on general spectroscopy techniques which do not require the introduction of molecular labels, which are preferentially linear to provide direct intensity and abundance information, and which allow for the study of isolated molecules and molecular complexes at low temperatures, to control thermal, solvent and entropy effects. 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 and atmospheric processes are studied.

The Suhm group consists of a single-digit number of PhD students, along with shorter term Bachelor and Master students and occasional postdocs as well as a permanent scientific staff member (N. Lüttschwager) and a part-time administrative assistant (P. Lawecki). We prefer to publish our results in not-for-profit society journals and in open access format. 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. Service to the scientific community includes editorial work for journals and work for prize award committees. M. Suhm is the local liaison officer for the Deutsche Bunsengesellschaft, a unique society of Physical Chemists, and for the German Research Foundation. He is a personal tutor of the German Academic Scholarship Foundation. In 2011, the Suhm group has organized the 19. International Conference on "Horizons in Hydrogen Bond Research". The next conference of this series will take place in Spain in 2022.

Join us

If you are interested in joining 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.