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The Colors of Life - Function, Chemistry and Applications of Porphyrins

Module PH6156

This module handbook serves to describe contents, learning outcome, methods and examination type as well as linking to current dates for courses and module examination in the respective sections.

Basic Information

PH6156 is a semester module in language at graduate-studies level which is offered irregularly.

This Module is included in the following catalogues within the study programs in physics.

  • Subject-Related Qualification Modules for Doctoral Candidates in Physics (lecture series)

If not stated otherwise for export to a non-physics program the student workload is given in the following table.

Total workloadContact hoursCredits (ECTS)
30 h 11 h 1 CP

Responsible coordinator of the module PH6156 is Johannes Barth.

Content, Learning Outcome and Preconditions


The module will give an overview on the occurrence, molecular engineering, structural properties, photophysics, biochemistry and contemporary applications of porphyrins in photonics and biomedicine. Topics will alternate between fundamental and applied areas. Historical aspects and emerging practical uses will also be discussed.

  1. Introduction, Background, Life and Porphyrins
  2. Hemes, Biosynthesis and Redox Catalysis
  3. Molecular Engineering and Chemistry of Tetrapyrroles
  4. Porphyrins as Scaffolds and Functional Components
  5. Chlorophylls, Photosynthesis, Excitons and Electrons, Photovoltaics
  6. Photomedicine and Photosensitization, Theranostic Applications
  7. Homogenous and Heterogeneous Photocatalysts, Interface Chemistry
  8. Sensing, Remediation, Biorefineries, Industrial Uses
  9. Donor-Acceptor Systems, Dyes and Photonics Materials
  10. The Fischer Legacy - Porphyrins Today and in the Future

Learning Outcome

On successful completion of this module the participant should be able to:

·         Explain the basic biological processes involving natural pigments,

·         understand key principles of porphyrin photophysics, structure and function,

·         know the basics of molecular engineering with tetrapyrroles,

·         understand the principles of photosensitization and photomedicine,

·         have an overview of day-to-day uses of porphyrinoid dyes,

·         know the fundamentals of contemporary photonics materials based on porphyrinoid dyes,

·         critically evaluate emerging interdisciplinary trends.


Interest in chemical physics and biochemistry. Depending on background of participants focus will either be more on molecular engineering of functional materials, biochemical aspects or applications in photovoltaics and photonics, medicine and materials sciences.

Courses, Learning and Teaching Methods and Literature

Courses and Schedule

VO 0.7 The Colors of Life - Function, Chemistry and Applications of Porphyrins Senge, M. singular or moved dates

Learning and Teaching Methods

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For those with no background in porphyrins:
The colours of life: an introduction to the chemistry of porphyrins and related compounds
Milgrom, Lionel R. 1997
1002/CHE 680f 10.2000 A 2067

Module Exam

Description of exams and course work

Active participation in the module courses and discussions on the scientific topic.

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