Dr. Maksim Grechko
Maksim Grechko graduated from the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology, where he received his bachelor (2004) and master (2006) degrees. In 2006 he joined the Laboratory of Molecular Physical Chemistry (head Prof. Thomas Rizzo, supervisor Dr. Oleg Boyarkine) at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne for a PhD project. His PhD thesis (2010) focused on the spectroscopy of highly excited vibrational states of the water molecule in gas phase. From 2011 to 2014 he worked in the group of Prof. Martin Zanni at the University of Wisconsin-Madison as a postdoc. During this time, he used nonlinear time-resolved spectroscopies (transient absorption, 2D infrared and 2D electronic) to study conformations of peptides and electron dynamics of carbon nanotube films. In 2014 he came to the MPI-P as a postdoc and participated in the development of the non-collinear 2D sum-frequency generation spectroscopy. Since 2016 he is a group leader in the Department of Molecular Spectroscopy.
Soft Matter Dynamics
The research of my group focuses mainly on the microscopic, molecular scale dynamics in soft materials. We are particularly interested in the nature of the thermally excited low-energy molecular vibrations, and how these vibrations are involved in various physical and (bio)chemical phenomena. These low-frequency vibrations are often called “thermal fluctuations”, and they are the elementary motions that move large segments of the same molecule or different molecules relative to each other. Revealing these “thermal fluctuations”, their inhomogeneity, anharmonicity and coupling with other molecular degrees of freedom is essential for understanding and designing the liquid phase chemistry.
In our research, we develop and use non-linear spectroscopy techniques. We have developed the Two-Dimensional Terahertz-InfraRed-Visible (2D TIRV) spectroscopy, which allows to measure correlations between the low- and high-frequency vibrations. These correlations provide new insight into the nature of the molecular motions, from simple inorganic molecules like water to bigger and more complicated peptides and proteins.