Joint Lab BeJEL receives 1.4 million EUR grant

The Berlin Joint EPR Laboratory (BeJEL) operated by HZB and Freie Universität Berlin has pulled in six of 27 subprojects within a DFG priority program to address“New Frontiers in Sensitivity for EPR Spectroscopy – from Biological Cells to Nano Materials”.

Electron spins are unique probes for materials and life sciences, and can be detected through electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR). The functioning of molecular machines, or the electronic properties of solar cells as well as catalytic chemical reactions, for example, can be determined at BeJEL using this method. To further enhance the sensitivity and resolution of EPR, the DFG Priority Programme SPP-1601 “New Frontiers in Sensitivity for EPR Spectroscopy – from Biological Cells to Nano Materials” has now been extended for a further three years through grants totalling 7.9 million EUR. In addition, DFG will make available 500,000 EUR to further expand collaboration with EPR groups in the USA.

Berlin-based BeJEL successfully pulled in six of the total 27 project grants within the competitive SPP Priority Programme selection process. With the help of 1.4 million EUR in DFG funding, BeJEL will now be in a position to push EPR into the terahertz region, implement ultra-high vacuum sample environments, develop miniature resonators and novel spin labels for investigating proteins in biological cells and study charge transport processes in inorganic and organic solar cells.

“The new financial stimulus from the DFG SPP Priority Programme considerably strengthens Berlin as an EPR site”, says Prof. Robert Bittl, official spokesperson for BeJEL. “In addition, we will be able to undertake new collaborative projects with our partners in Germany and the USA to achieve our ambitious goal of detecting even very small spin ensembles in the systems we are investigating”, adds Prof. Klaus Lips from HZB.

The six individual projects will be undertaken by the following BeJEL project leaders: Prof. Jan Behrends (Freie Universität Berlin/HZB), Prof. Robert Bittl (Freie Universität Berlin), Prof. Enrica Bordignon (Freie Universität Berlin), Prof. Klaus Lips (HZB), Prof. Thomas Risse (Freie Universität Berlin), and Dr. Alexander Schnegg (HZB).

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