Michael Hippler - Research Group

Physical Chemistry, University of Sheffield, England


Dr Michael Hippler

(Priv.Doz., Ph.D., Dipl.Phys.)

Dept of Chemistry
University of Sheffield
Sheffield S3 7HF, United Kingdom

Tel.: +44 (0)114 222 9505
E-mail: M.Hippler@sheffield.ac.uk

Welcome to my research group webpage

I am a Senior Lecturer (equivalent to an Associate Professor) in Physical and Analytical Chemistry, University of Sheffield, England, with teaching in Physical and Analytical Chemistry and research interests to develop new laser spectroscopic techniques and to apply new laser sources for fundamental and analytical applications. I pursue analytical applications of laser spectroscopy, sensing and imaging in many collaborations with colleagues and industrial partners.

The aim of my research is the development of new methods and applications of ultra-sensitive laser spectroscopic techniques for analytical applications, including sensor applications of new light sources (DFB-QCL and diode lasers). During my research activities in Zürich and Sheffield I was able to develop new innovative experimental techniques for laser spectroscopy with great potential for analytical and fundamental applications.

Recent posts and links

August 2023: Another paper just published: The HyDRA (Hydrate Donor Redshift Anticipation) blind challenge for computational vibrational spectroscopy HyDRA. Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2023, 25, 22089-22102. https://doi.org/10.1039/D3CP01216F. Supplementary Information: https://www.rsc.org/suppdata/d3/cp/d3cp01216f/d3cp01216f6.pdf

I made two contributions, PH5 in the section purely harmonic calculations, and AC4 in anharmonic corrected calculations. '...By a quite significant margin, the best submission in this class (purely harmonic) was PH5...', and ' ...When adding an anharmonic correction AC2 and AC4 are among the best submissions for this challenge...'. 

31 July 2023: New paper just published: "Mode-Selective Vibrational-Tunneling Dynamics in the N=2 Triad of the Hydrogen-Bonded (HF)2 Cluster", M. Hippler, L. Oeltjen and M. Quack, Isr. J. Chem. 2023, 63, e202300092 (1-20). https://doi.org/10.1002/ijch.202300092. A combined experimental and theoretical study on HF dimer and its predissociation and tunnelling dynamics after vibrational excitation, showing non-statistical, mode-selective behaviour.

July 2023: Dr George Metcalfe has been awarded the departmental Turner Prize, in recognition of his exceptional achievements over his PhD. Congratulations, George!

16 June 2023: It is with great sadness that I have to announce the death of my PhD supervisor, colleague and friend, Prof. Joseph Pfab, after a short illness. Joseph was Emeritus Professor of Physical Chemistry at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh. He was an expert in laser spectroscopy of electronically excited molecules and their photodissociation dynamics, particularly nitroso compounds. Joseph was born on 3 March 1943 in Bavaria, Germany. He died on 16 June 2023 in Edinburgh, surrounded by his family. He will be greatly missed. Rest in peace, Joseph.  

8 June 2023: Maryam Aldoghaim passed her PhD viva today (Advanced Analytical Tools Based on Optical Spectroscopy with Applications in the Biosciences and Petrochemistry). Congratulations, Maryam! 

June 2023: Returned from visiting professorship at the ETH Zürich, Switzerland. I had a very productive time, with seminar talks, visiting research groups and many interactions with researchers in Zürich. Even completed a publication ...

BREAKING NEWS: I will be Visiting Professor during summer 2023 in the Department of Chemistry and Applied Biosciences, Laboratory of Physical Chemistry, ETH Zürich, Switzerland. As part of this visit, I will give a seminar talk on 9th May, 'Analysis of Bacterial Metabolism by Modern Spectroscopic Laser Techniques'.

September 2022: Update on the HyDRA (Hydrate Donor Redshift Anticipation) blind challenge for computational vibrational spectroscopy https://qmbench.net/challenges/hydra/hydra : Among 18 contributions, my method, CP MP2/631++G(2d,p), performed best in the category of unscaled harmonic calculations! Full publication to follow. I am very pleased ...

5th-7th September 2022: Participated at the international Bunsenmeeting 2022 in Giessen, Germany. It was my great honour to give the laudatory for the award of honorary membership to Prof. Martin Quack. Dear Martin, my heartfelt congratulations to this outstanding honour!

30 June 2022: George Metcalfe passed his PhD viva with flying colours. Congratulations, George, well done!

Tom Smith (left), George Metcalfe (middle), the proud PhD supervisor (right)

31.05.2022, 16.45 h: I am giving an invited talk (PC Kolloquium) at the ETH Zürich, Switzerland, New spectroscopic Raman and photoacoustic techniques based on cavity enhancement for high-resolution spectroscopy and analytical applications in chemistry, biochemistry and microbiology. If you are around, please come and join.

February 2022: Paper just accepted for publication in Microbiology: 'Hydrogen production in the presence of oxygen by Escherichia coli K-12' , G.D. Metcalfe, F. Sargent and M. Hippler, Microbiology 168 (2022) 001167. https://doi.org/10.1099/mic.0.001167. - Under the right conditions, E. coli can produce biohydrogen in the presence of oxygen, a paradigm shift!

November 2021: I am participating in the HyDRA (Hydrate Donor Redshift Anticipation) blind challenge for computational vibrational spectroscopy https://qmbench.net/challenges/hydra/hydra. Let's see what one man and a couple of computers can achieve...

Remember the 5th of November 2021: Muneera AlRasheedi passed her PhD viva. Congratulations!

October 2021: Paper just accepted for publication in Analyst: 'Advanced Spectroscopic Analysis and 15N-Isotopic Labelling Study of Nitrate and Nitrite Reduction to Ammonia and Nitrous Oxide by E. coli', G.D. Metcalfe, T.W. Smith and M. Hippler, Analyst, 2021, 146, 7021-7033 (open access): https://doi.org/10.1039/D1AN01261D Thanks and congratulations to my co-authors! It describes the culmination of our analytical efforts and describes for the first time the combination of several advanced techniques, including CERS and White cell FTIR, and the simultaneous measurement of up to 20 different species and parameters in a relevant application, nitrate reduction by the model bacterium E. coli.

August 2021: Paper just accepted for publication in Chemical Science: 'Tuning the Properties of Hydrogen-bonded Block Copolymer Worm Gels Prepared via Polymerization-Induced Self-Assembly', E. Raphael, M. J. Berry, M. Hippler and S. P. Armes, Chem. Sci., 2021, 12, 12082-12091 (Impact 9.825) https://doi.org/10.1039/D1SC03156B - Analytical chemistry (spectroscopy) and ab initio calculations find many applications, here in polymer science!

June 2021: Built a new Raman spectrometer with 532 nm excitation, based (modified, improved) on my publication 'Inexpensive Raman Spectrometer: J. Chem. Educ. 87 (2010), 326-330. DOI: 10.1021/ed800081t Go to J. Chem. Educ.

May 2021: The entire group is participating at the international Bunsenmeeting 2021; George Metcalfe is giving a talk 'Isotopically Labelling the Anaerobic Pathways of E. coli', Muneera Alrasheedi a poster 'Long-path FTIR and CERS Raman Analysis of Volatiles', Maryam Aldoghaim a poster 'Silver Nanospheres and Nanostars for SERS in the Biosciences', and Dr Hippler was re-elected as member of the steering committee (ständiger Ausschuss) of the German Bunsen Society for Physical Chemistry. Congratulations, Michael! Go to presentations

September 2020: My open access article Diode Laser Photoacoustic Spectroscopy in a Differential Helmholtz Resonator for Trace Gas Analysis in the Biosciences and Petrochemistry, Anal. Bioanal. Chem. (2019) 411:3777–3787, has been downloaded 1330 times! #myOAarticle https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00216-019-01877-0

August 2020: 2 new publications just in print: Using activities to correct the Henderson-Hasselbalch equation, M. Hippler and G.D. Metcalfe, Bunsenmagazin, Vol. 22, Issue 5, 2020, 102-105. https://doi.org/10.26125/y7p7-an56
On-line Analysis and in situ pH Monitoring of Mixed Acid Fermentation by Escherichia coli using Combined FTIR and Raman Techniques, G.D. Metcalfe, T.W. Smith, and M. Hippler, Anal. Bioanal. Chem., 412(26) (2020) 7307-7319. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00216-020-02865-5

February 2020: Maryam and Huw gave a presentation at a Florey Interdisciplinary Research Forum meeting at Sheffield University, presenting first results on 'Detecting and Probing of Microbes with Surface Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy (SERS) using Silver Nanoparticles'. See also the tweet, https://twitter.com/floreyinstitute/, and #floreyseminar.

December 2019: Thanks to 'The Analytical Scientist' for writing a highlight article in their December 2019 issue on my cavity-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (CERS) technique as a promising new tool in biotech. Find the article here: https://theanalyticalscientist.com/

20/11/2019: We are branching into the field of Surface Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy (SERS) with silver nanoparticles, with Maryam Aldoghaim (PhD) and Huw Fletcher-Jones (MChem). We have succeeded in synthesizing nanoparticles and have obtained first SERS spectra of some interesting systems. More on this later... Below TEM images of silver nanostars and nanospheres.

5/11/2019: We had to open the CERS optical cavity for cleaning. This allowed George Metcalfe (©) to take this picture, showing the power enhancement of the 635 nm diode laser inside the cavity.

18/9/2019: Visit to the Chatsworth estate in Derbyshire, England (https://www.chatsworth.org/) to harvest some bananas for scientific research. More on this soon... (P.S.: the pictures were taken inside a greenhouse. This is not how Derbyshire looks like!)

16/9/2019: Cavity-Enhanced Raman and Helmholtz Resonator Photoacoustic Spectroscopy to Monitor the Mixed Sugar Metabolism of E. coli, by G. Metcalfe, S. Alahmari, T.W. Smith and M. Hippler has just been accepted by Analytical Chemistry, with very positive comments from the referees: '...exceptionally well written manuscript...', ' ...A frequent bottleneck in scientific instrumentation proposals for a specific analytical task is the lack of comparability... The present manuscript provides such detailed comparison between two powerful and still elegantly simple and cost-effective, non-sampling techniques...' Go to Analytical Chemistry

30/5/2019: Dr Michael Hippler re-elected as member of the steering committee (ständiger Ausschuss) of the German Bunsen Society for Physical Chemistry, at the 118th General Assembly of the Society (Bunsentagung 2019) in Jena, Germany. Congratulations to myself ...

26/4/2019: Diode Laser Photoacoustic Spectroscopy in a Differential Helmholtz Resonator for Trace Gas Analysis in the Biosciences and Petrochemistry, by S. Alahmari (PhD student), X-W. Kang (MChem student) and M. Hippler has been accepted and selected as Paper in Forefront in Analytical & Bioanalytical Chemistry ! The Editor has recommended the manuscript for publication as a Paper in Forefront. The Editors select a number of exceptional papers for rapid publication as Papers in Forefront. These articles are given priority treatment, and they are printed prominently in a journal issue. (open access) Go to Analytical & Bioanalytical Chemistry

March 2019: George Metcalfe (1st year PhD student) has won a generous bursary from the Association of British Spectroscopists to present a talk FTIR and Cavity-Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy for in situ, real-time Monitoring of Gases in the Biosciences at an international conference, Bunsentagung 2019 1st June 2019 in Jena, Germany. Congratulations, George!

Cavity-Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy (CERS) in the Biosciences: Analytical Chemistry 89 (2017) 2147-2154. (open access) Go to Analytical Chemistry

CERS of Natural Gas with Optical Feedback cw-Diode Lasers web link

Journal Reference for CERS of Natural Gas: Analytical Chemistry 87 (2015) 7803-7809. (open access) Go to Analytical Chemistry

Ultratrace Analytical Laser Spectroscopy for Humanitarian Demining, sponsored by the charity FABW YouTube link

Cavity-Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy (CERS): Analyst 137 (2012) 4669-4676. DOI: 10.1039/C2AN35722D Go to Analyst

Inexpensive Raman Spectrometer: J. Chem. Educ. 87 (2010), 326-330. DOI: 10.1021/ed800081t Go to J. Chem. Educ.

Quantum-chemical study and FTIR jet spectroscopy of CHCl3 - NH3 association in the gas phase: Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys. 12 (2010), 13555–13565. DOI: 10.1039/C0CP00530D Go to PCCP