Erik T. J. Nibbering (born in 1965) studied chemistry at the Vrije Universiteit (Amsterdam, the Netherlands) from 1983 to 1988, graduating in physical chemistry with a diploma thesis on multiple quantum NMR. He investigated femtosecond optical dephasing and solvation dynamics in liquids for his Ph. D. study with Prof. Dr. Douwe A. Wiersma and Prof. Dr. Koos Duppen at the Rijksuniversiteit Groningen (the Netherlands, 1988−1993). After a two-year stay at the Laboratoire d'Optique Appliqueé − E.N.S.T.A. − École Polytechnique (Palaiseau, France) with Prof. Dr. André Mysyrowicz, where he investigated nonlinear propagation phenomena of intense femtosecond laser pulses, he joined the Max Born Institut für Nichtlineare Optik und Kurzzeitspektroskopie in Berlin, Germany, in 1995, under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Thomas Elsaesser, becoming project leader in 1997 and department head in 2003. He acquired his Habilitation degree in experimental physics in 2007 at the Freie Universität Berlin. Major achievements in the first decade of the 21st century include femtosecond infrared spectroscopic studies on hydrogen bond dynamics, bimolecular aqueous proton transfer and bimolecular electron transfer, as well as trans/cis isomerization in chromophores of biosensor proteins and photochromic switches. Recent efforts focus on the elucidation of hydrogen bond structure of photoacid-base complexes, to be tackled with time-resolved infrared and soft-x-ray spectroscopies.
SELECTED MILESTONE WORKS I (87-05)
• E. T. J. Nibbering, D. A. Wiersma and K. Duppen. Femtosecond non-Markovian optical dynamics in solution. Physical Review Letters 66 (19), 2464-2467 (1991). First demonstration of succesful application of Kubo's line shape theory on electronic dephasing of a dye molecule in liquid solution using both linear absorption spectra and nonlinear two pulse photon echo measurements.
• E. T. J. Nibbering, P. F. Curley, G. Grillon, B. S. Prade, M. A. Franco, F. Salin and A. Mysyrowicz. Conical emission from self-guided femtosecond pulses in air. Optics Letters 21 (1), 62-64 (1996). First paper exploring the origin of conical emission of femtosecond filaments in air.
• M. Rini, B.-Z. Magnes, E. Pines and E. T. J. Nibbering. Real-time observation of bimodal proton transfer in acid-base pairs in water. Science 301 (5631), 349-352 (2003). First femtosecond infrared spectroscopic measurements of aqueous acid-base neutralization measurements, showing marked different behaviour of tightly bound and loosely bound complexes.
• M. L. Cowan, B. D. Bruner, N. Huse, J. R. Dwyer, B. Chugh, E. T. J. Nibbering, T. Elsaesser and R. J. D. Miller. Ultrafast memory loss and energy redistribution in the hydrogen bond network of liquid H2O. Nature 434 (7030), 199-202 (2005). First 2D-IR experiment on neat liquid water, providing key insight into the major impact of the intermolecular couplings of nearby water molecules on the structural memory of the hydrogen bond network as imprinted in the O-H stretching mode.
• O. F. Mohammed, D. Pines, J. Dreyer, E. Pines and E. T. J. Nibbering. Sequential proton transfer through water bridges in acid-base reactions. Science 310 (5745), 83-86 (2005). First time-resolved measurement of sequential von-Grotthuss hopping-type aqueous proton transport from acid to base molecules.
SELECTED MILESTONE WORKS II (06-15)
• O. F. Mohammed, K. Adamczyk, N. Banerji, J. Dreyer, B. Lang, E. T. J. Nibbering, and E. Vauthey. Direct femtosecond observation of tight and loose ion pairs in photoinduced bimolecular electron transfer. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 47, 9044-9048 (2008). First structural determination of tight electron donor-acceptor complexes using polarization-resolved ultrafast infrared spectroscopy, providing insight into the donor-acceptor interactions leading to photo-induced forward and backward electron transfer on subpicosecond time scales.
• K. Adamczyk, M. Prémont-Schwarz, D. Pines, E. Pines and E. T. J. Nibbering. Real-time observation of carbonic acid formation in aqueous solution. Science 326, 1690-1694 (2009). First observation of carbonic acid in room-temperature aqueous conditions, as well as determination of its true acid dissociation constant under ambient conditions.
• F. Messina, M. Prémont-Schwarz, O. Braem, D. Xiao, V. S. Batista, E. T. J. Nibbering and M. Chergui. Ultrafast solvent-assisted electronic level crossing in 1-naphthol. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 52, 6871–6875 (2013). First observation of electronic excited-state level inversion of the prototype photoacid 1-naphthol in a time-resolved experiment.
• C. Greve, E. T. J. Nibbering and H. Fidder. Hydrogen bonding induced enhancement of Fermi resonances: A linear IR and nonlinear 2D-IR study of aniline-d5. J. Phys. Chem. B 117, 15843-15855 (2013). First full exploration, in a combined linear IR and nonlinear 2D-IR study, of the enhancement of the Fermi resonance effect between hydrogen stretching fundamental and bending overtone levels, as induced by hydrogen bonding interactions.
• B. Psciuk, M. Prémont-Schwarz, B. Koeppe, S. Keinan, D. Xiao, E. T. J. Nibbering and V. S. Batista. Correlating photoacidity to hydrogen-bond structure by using the local O−H stretching probe in hydrogen-bonded complexes of aromatic alcohols. J. Phys. Chem. A 119 (20), 4800-4812 (2015). First study correlating O-H stretching mode frequency shifts of photoacid molecules with photoacidity properties and hydrogen bond structure.
• Full list of 180 publications in peer-reviewed journals, book chapters, and conference proceedings.