Nanoscale fluctuations in aqueous solutions


The intricate interaction between water and various molecular components often results in complex molecular dynamics; however, a comprehensive mechanistic description of these solutions is lacking. For instance, it remains unsolved how nanometer scale transient structural heterogeneity, that arise from weak intermolecular interactions, relates to the overall structural solution dynamics. We investigate such questions by studying solutes, such as nanoparticles and small organic molecules, and by utilizing light- and X-ray scattering techniques that probe the structural dynamics, including dynamic light scattering and X-ray photon correlation spectroscopy.

S. Berkowicz and F. Perakis
Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 23, 25490 (2021)

The role of water in biophysical processes


Are water’s anomalous properties directly involved in life processes? We investigate the interplay between water and biomolecules utilizing X-ray scattering techniques. In particular, we study hydrated proteins and proteins in aqueous solutions under extreme conditions, for instance in the supercooled regime, glassy state and in crowded environments. Understanding the role of water in biochemical mechanisms can help us to address fundamental processes such as protein folding, enzymatic activity as well as transport properties but also change the way we view water as a specific requirement for life.

M. Bin, R. Yousif, S. Berkowicz, S. Das, D. Schlesinger, and F. Perakis
Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys. 23, 18308-18313 (2021)

Structural dynamics at Synchrotrons and X-ray free-electron lasers


The new generation of x-ray sources, such as Diffraction Limited Storage Rings (DSLRs) or superconductive X-ray Free Electron Lasers (XFELs) excel at coherent properties. In the group we are developing experimental X-ray techniques that utilize these unique properties for probe structural dynamics, such as X-ray Photon Correlation Spectroscopy (XPCS) and time-resolved X-ray Diffraction. We perform experiments at X-ray synchrotrons such as the MAX IV, ESRF-EBS and PETRA III, as well as at XFELs including the European XFEL, LCLS, SACLA and SwissFEL.

M. Reiser, A. Girelli, A. Ragulskaya, S. Das, S. Berkowicz, M. Bin, M. Ladd-Parada, M. Filianina, H.-F. Poggemann, N. Begam, M. S. Akhundzadeh, S. Timmermann, L. Randolph, Y. Chushkin, T. Seydel, U. Boesenberg, J. Hallmann, J. Möller, A. Rodriguez-Fernandez, R. Rosca, R. Schaffer, M. Scholz, R. Shayduk, A. Zozulya, A. Madsen, F. Schreiber, F. Zhang, F. Perakis and C. Gutt
arXiv:2202.10889 []

F. Dallari, M. Reiser, I. Lockteva, A. Jain, J. Möller, M. Scholz, A. Madsen, G. Grübel, F. Perakis, F. Lehmkühler
Appl. Sci., 11, 8037 (2021)

F. Perakis and C. Gutt
Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 22, 19443-19453 (2020)

K. H. Kim, A. Späh, H. Pathak, C. Yang, S. Bonetti, K. Amann-Winkel, D. Mariedahl, D. Schlesinger, J. A. Sellberg, D. Mendez, G. van der Schot, H. Y. Hwang, J. Clark, O. Shigeki, T. Tadashi, Y. Harada, H. Ogasawara, T. Katayama, A. Nilsson, and F. Perakis
Phys. Rev. Lett. 125, 076002 (2020)

Developing novel water desalination technologies


There are major global challenges regarding the supply of fresh water due to climate change. However, despite major innovations in water technologies, desalination is still more energy-intensive compared to conventional technologies for water treatment. Freeze desalination is an energy effective alternative to traditional desalination processes. In our group we investigate the fundamental mechanisms of freeze-desalination with the aim of optimizing desalination efficiency and gain new insights into the freezing process of aqueous solutions.

I. Tsironi, D. Schlesinger, A. Späh, L. Eriksson, M. Segad, F. Perakis
Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys. 22, 7625-7632 (2020)