The Max Planck- Radboud University Center for Infrared Free Electron Laser Spectroscopy seeks to enhance opportunities for collaborative activities between investigators of the FHI-FEL facility and the FELIX Laboratory through funding of joint research projects. Financial support will be provided for hiring postdoctoral researchers for a period of up to 2 years and PhD students up to 2 years, maximum.  Employment conditions are determined by the applicable laws and regulations of the hosting laboratory.

Projects must have clear relevance to areas supported by the Center. A high degree of interaction between FHI and HFML-FELIX investigators is a mandatory requirement for further consideration of the proposal. The written proposal should not exceed 3 pages (A4) and provide key information on the planned research, the envisioned collaboration and requested funding.

Center members are eligible for submission of proposals, which can be submitted any time. The Governing Board will evaluate the received proposals and prioritize them based on scientific quality and added value of the collaboration. Funds will be distributed according to availability, taking into account the global balance between FHI and HFML-FELIX contributions. Funding decisions will be communicated within three months after submission.

Prebiotic chemistry at work in space – a joint experimental and theoretical study

Project leaders: Sandra Brünken (FELIX Infrared and Terahertz Spectroscopy, FELIX Laboratory, RU) & Jésus Pérez-Ríos (Theoretical Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics, FHI Berlin)

The path to life as we know it on Earth is paved by an ever-increasing complexity of organic molecules. The question if and how prebiotic synthesis started in the depths of our universe is central in the origins of life puzzle – and one of the grand challenges in the field of astrochemistry. To date only fragmentary and merely a priori knowledge exists on the role and efficiency of chemical pathways to complexity. The first key step towards understanding prebiotic synthesis is the exploration of formation pathways of simple sugars, amino acids, and peptides. The core of this proposal is to provide a systematic experimental and theoretical study of the underlying processes for gas-phase synthesis of these elementary prebiotic molecules. For this we will combine advanced laboratory-based experiments at FELIX with high-level quantum-chemical calculations and novel molecular dynamics approaches developed at FHI.


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