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The interaction between light and molecular matter is at the basis of a large number of fundamental and applied research areas in molecular chemistry and physics.

In this HRSMC research theme light is used to probe as well as utilize fundamental processes, such as

  • reaction mechanisms and dynamics;
  • catalytic events;
  • energy and electron transfer;
  • conformational dynamics; and
  • dynamic life processes.

Concurrently advanced spectroscopic techniques are used to elucidate inter- and circumstellar chemistry, and for analytical applications.

Participating research groups 

Many of the groups working in this area are renowned for their development and application of new spectroscopic techniques. Although academic research in spectroscopy is rather widespread in The Netherlands, the photochemical and photophysical research of inorganic and organic compounds in gas and condensed phases is more and more confined to groups within the HRSMC. 



Group/University/staff members



Biophotonics and Medical Imaging (VU/LaserLaB)

Dr. F. Ariese


Biophysical Organic Chemistry (UL/LIC)

Prof. dr. H.J.M. de Groot, Dr. Alia, Dr. F. Buda, Dr. G.J.A. Sevink                 


BioAnalytical Chemistry (VU/AIMMS)

Prof. dr. A.M. Rijs, Dr. M. Bärenfänger     


PhotoConversion Materials (VU) 

Prof. dr. E.L. von Hauff, Dr. C. Ramanan, Dr. A. Baldi, Dr. S. Askes, Dr. L.A. Muscarella


Laboratory Astrophysics and Astrochemistry (UL/LION)

Prof. dr. H.  Linnartz


Molecular Nano-Optics and Spins (UL/LION)

Prof. dr. E.J.J. Groenen, Dr. P. Gast, Dr. M. I. Huber


Molecular Photonics (UvA/HIMS)

Prof. dr. A.M. Brouwer, Prof. dr. W.J. Buma, Prof. dr. S. Woutersen, Prof. dr. T. Šolomek, Dr. ir. A. Petrignani, Dr. R. M. Williams, Dr. H. Zhang. 


FELIX Laboratory (RU)

Prof. dr. J. Oomens, Dr. J.M. Bakker, Dr. S. Brünken, Prof. dr. W.J. Buma


Surface Chemistry and Catalysis (UL/LIC)

Prof. dr. M. Koper1, Dr. W.T. Fu, Prof. dr. I.M.N. Groot, Dr. D. Hetterscheid, Dr. L.B.F. Juurlink, Dr. R.V. Mom


Bioelectrochemistry and Biocatalysis (UL/LIC)

Prof. dr. L.J.C. Jeuken


Chemistry for Art Conservation (UvA/HIMS)

Prof. dr. K. Keune


Cellular Metabolism (VU/AIMMS)

Dr. S. Moco