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Optical Spectroscopy


Together with Univ. Prof. Dr. Max E. Lippitsch, head of the group, I have been engaged in research in the field of modern optics and time-resolved spectroscopy for more than 20 years. The work extends from ultrafast spectroscopy of biomolecules to technological applications of luminescence decay time techniques.


Research activities can be grouped in the following major categories:


(1) Basic research on

  • fluorescence decay time measurements on novel fluorescent materials
  • behavior of fluorescent molecules in membranes
  • basic investigations of mechanisms for ion sensing
  • novel sensing schemes (anisotropy, nonlinear optics)

(2) Sensor optics

  • capillary waveguides
  • inhomogeneous waveguide sensors
  • distributed sensors

(3) Development of sensor elements for

  • force / pressure
  • temperature
  • oxygen
  • CO2
  • pH
  • ions (phosphate, nitrate, sodium, potassium ....)

(4) Development of lifetime sensor instrumentation

  • low-cost devices for field measurements
  • autonomous monitoring systems
  • lifetime imaging devices

Advantages of luminescence lifetime sensors


Optical sensors based on luminescence lifetime are a promising alternative because of the following features:

  • proven long-term performance
  • maintenance-free
  • calibration-free
  • no analyte conssumption
  • negligible impact on the environment
  • low cost
  • no interference from electrical and magnetical fields

Possible applications:

  • marine and environmental monitoring: 

    To achieve a progress in operational forecasting of the seas and oceans, there is a strong need for a world-wide system of ocean-monitoring stations. None of the standard electrochemical sensors, however, fulfils the criteria for long-term autonomous monitoring. The properties of luminescence lifetime sensors provide the possibility for the use in unattended monitoring systems, floating buoys, unmanned platforms, and voluntary observing ships.

  • medical diagnostics:
    Medical diagnostics is facing a number of new challenges: Better medical sevices for increasing number of people, intensive care, homecare, emergency medicine. Optical sensors may provide a multitude of versatile diagnostic instruments that can be manufactures rather inexpensively and used conveniently.




In case of questions please feel free to contact me.   Contact: sonja.draxler@gmail.com