"Light-induced chemical conversions play a key role in many technological and biological processes - the most important of all being photosynthesis", says professor Wybren Jan Buma, who leads the group together with professor Fred Brouwer. "Understanding the interaction of light and molecular matter is therefore highly significant."
Brouwer explains that the group adressess questions regarding the energies necessary to excite a molecule and the effect of the absorption of energy on the structure and properties of molecules. "In particular we ask ourselves whether we can use the interaction with light to design new molecules with pre-programmed properties. And of course we would like to understand how and why nature uses very specific light-active molecules."
Internationally recognized experts
According to the group leaders the HIMS Molecular Photonics Group is unique within the Netherlands because it combines the skills of internationally recognized experts in molecular synthesis, spectroscopy and theory. They think their group is is in an excellent position to be competitive at an international level.
Buma mentions the participation of the group in the Institute for Lasers, Life and Biophotonics Amsterdam, a joint initiative with research groups from VU University Amsterdam, Amsterdam Medical Center and VU University Medical Center. This so-called 'LaserLaB Amsterdam' is part of LASERLAB-Europe, the European Union funded consortium of the 17 major laser centers in Europe.
Molecular Photonics also has an active role in the Dutch National Research Programme Towards BioSolar Cells and is partner of the Centre of Research Excellence Quantitative multidimensional imaging for individualized treatment (QUANTIVISION), part of the New Instruments for Healthcare initiative of the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research NWO.