Max Born Institute hosts a team from Ukraine to explore novel ultrafast relaxation dynamics of molecules in solution

The ongoing war in Ukraine is severely hampering experimental research at their national facilities. It is therefore all the more important to help Ukrainian scientists continue their research in these difficult times. Fortunately, European and national German funding offers a variety of possibilities in this context. One of these is Laserlab-Europe - the integrated initiative of the European Laser Research Infrastructures, which provides transnational access to the best laser research facilities in Europe, including those at the Max Born Institute.

Recently, a team of scientists from the Center for Collective Use of the Femtosecond Laser Complex at the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, led by Dr Natalia Kachalova, successfully applied for such an access grant through Laserlab-Europe. The research collaboration between Dr Kachalova's group and scientists at the Max Born Institute (MBI) started in 2022 when Dr Alina Khodko, a member of the Ukrainian team, joined MBI on a temporary contract to study ultrafast relaxation dynamics in aqueous solutions using the method of time-resolved photoelectron spectroscopy (TRPES). Thanks to the access grant, this collaboration has now been expanded, with several members of the Ukrainian team traveling from Kyiv to join the experiments on the ultrafast relaxation of Metanyl Yellow - an aminoazobenzine derivative, which serves as a testbed for developing the TRPES protocols in solution. Previous results suggest that the molecule undergoes rapid relaxation to the ground state, but that the pathways may be different for different hydration arrangements. The current campaign aims to elucidate the influence of hydration.

2024-01_MBI_Ukrainian-visit.jpgThe cooperation with the Max Born Institute and the Laserlab-Europe grant are vital for the continuation of the activities of the Ukrainian physicists, who are very grateful to the MBI for the opportunity to continue their research. Questions about this article can be addressed to

Dr Alina Khodko (
Dr Oleg Kornilov (