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Terahertz Applications Group

Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology

Studying at Cambridge


Johanna Kölbel

Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology
West Cambridge Site
Philippa Fawcett Drive

Mail: College: Gonville and Caius



B.Sc. Physics, Friedrich-Schiller University Jena, Sep 2017

M.Res. Sensor Technologies and Application, University of Cambridge, 
Sep 2018

Research Interests

Many pharmaceuticals containing proteins are stored in a mostly dry form with residual water contents of less than 5 wt.%. The design of bioprotective glasses that allow long-term storage while keeping the proteins functional is a topic of high interest and research. In my PhD project, terahertz sensing is used with the aim of developing a fundamental understanding of the physical basis of protein degradation.

Terahertz time-domain spectroscopy is sensitive to low-frequency vibrations (including intra- and intermolecular motions). Absorption in the terahertz range is a measure of mobility and different absorption regimes are observed upon variation of temperature. This allows the investigation of amorphous systems.