The team are pursuing three core scientific goals arising from research on the hydrogen isotopes protium, deuterium and tritium. In the long term, they hope to make a decisive contribution to the further development of nuclear fusion as a sustainable energy source.
The researchers intend to produce materials that can separate the hydrogen isotopes more effectively and, in particular, more cheaply. A more efficient synthesis of isotope-labelled active substances could revolutionise drug production. One advantage of this is that their effectiveness can be monitored and adjusted on a more individual basis. The scientists also aim to develop highly sensitive, microscale tritium detectors.
The head of the Research Training Group, Professor Knut Asmis from Leipzig University, believes that all three of these topics have the potential to win future Nobel Prizes.
The interdisciplinary research programme, which spans the natural sciences, relies on international cooperation and exchange. Distinguished scientists will give lectures, imparting additional knowledge with those involved in the Research Training Group and sharing their own experiences. The team are already expecting their first prominent guest on 8 November, Professor Joachim Sauer from the Humboldt University of Berlin. The German Research Foundation (DFG) is initially providing 5.4 million euros in funding for the Research Training Group “Hydrogen Isotopes: 1,2,3H” at Leipzig University over four and half years.