My research work

My work's focus was on oxygen sensors based on the luminescence quenching of ruthenium(II) complexes, e.g. Ru(n-alkyl-ddp)3 ClO4 with n = 3, 6 or 8. Subjects were photochemical behavior of the dyes (What role does oxygen play? Which products are being formed? What are relevant issues for their use in membranes?) and their electrochemical behavior. Other interests include spectroelectrochemistry and impedance measurements, sterilizable membranes and alternative measurement techniques. See also the project description sheet Luminescence-based oxygen sensing with ruthenium(II) complexes (pdf, 84k, 1 page, English).
Much of my work deals with instrumental issues such as interfacing, measurement set-ups and automation (gas handling, amplifier for photodiodes, RS-232 interfacing to various instruments, programming in LabView 5.1, macros for IgorPro).

CoverMy thesis "Ruthenium(II) diimine complexes for luminescence-based oxygen sensors and Impedance spectroscopy of nitrogen dioxide-sensitive polymeric membranes" ( 284 pages, English, 5.9 MB) can be downloaded as a pdf-file. An abstract is available in English and German, a separate page lists all the references cited in my thesis.

Despite all this sensor stuff, I did my diploma thesis on a different matter, namely Scanning Near-field Microscopy (SNOM). See my diploma thesis (121 pages, German, 4.8 MB) "Fluorescence studies and polymer modification on a nanometer scale with a Scanning Near-Field Optical Microscopy".

Interesting ressources on this website:

LabVIEW 5.1 files

Serial drivers for the PE LS-50B luminescence spectrophotometer, Gilson Minipuls 3 peristaltic pump, Spekol 1100 absorbance spectrophotometer, Uvikon 942 absorbance spectrophotometer, GPIB drivers for the HP 34420A Nanovoltmeter, HP 4274A Multi-Frequency LCR Meter and the PREMA 5000 Multimeter with Scanner as well as DDE-controlled or RS-485 controlled mass flow controllers. Non-commercial use only.

IgorPro procedures Various procedures which are handy for reading different ASCII data formats, working with spectra, timedrives, Stern-Volmer plots etc. including a complete impedance spectra fitting suite.


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I have studied chemistry (emphasis on analytical/physical chemistry)at ETH Zürich from 1991 to 1996, with the last year actually studying at the Université Paul Sabatier in Toulouse with the late ERASMUS program. After a diploma thesis on Scanning Near-Field Optical Microscopy (SNOM) at the group of Professor Renato Zenobi at ETH Zürich I started my thesis at the group of Prof. Ursula Spichiger-Keller at the Centre for Chemical Sensors, bioAnalytical Chemistry and Biosensors (CCS) at Technopark Zürich.

I spent six weeks of PhD research at the Changchun Institute of Applied Chemistry in Changchun, China where I did cyclic voltammetry and spectroelectrochemical experiments.

Financial support from the late "Stipendienfonds der Basler Chemischen Industrie zur Unterstützung von Doktoranden auf dem Gebiete der Chemie, der Biotechnologie und der Pharamazie" and now from the Roche Research Foundation as well as the Swiss Asia Foundation scholarship for my research stay at the Changchun Institute of Applied Chemistry in Changchun, China (November/December 1998) is gratefully acknowledged.

Three less serious contributions to chemistry:
a revised version of what the registered slogan "lab in the bag" actually means. Strictly for Zürich insiders. A collage "Engineering at CCS" gives an overview of what was my everyday work.

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