Institut für Röntgenphysik - Salditt Gruppe

Institut für Röntgenphysik - Salditt Gruppe

Research group "Structure of biomolecular assemblies and x-ray physics"

Our group "Structure of biomolecular assemblies and x-ray physics" studies soft matter and biomolecular assemblies, from the molecular level to biological cells and tissues. We seek to describe the non-crystalline self-assembly of biomolecular systems in quantitative physical terms, and we want to understand how functional properties of biomolecular assemblies depend on their nanoscale structure and dynamics. To access the required length and time scales, we adapt and develop x-ray based methods for structure analysis in non-crystalline, hydrated states, and in the native functional environments. Since diffraction methods are mostly restricted to large ensembles and relatively well-ordered and homogeneous structures, we currently extend x-ray diffraction to x-ray (diffractive) imaging in many of our studies. For example, we use nano-focused x-ray beams to study biomolecular assemblies in cells and holographic phase contrast x-ray tomography to study cells in biological tissues. In our experiments, we want to get a maximum of information from a minimum of photons. This entails significant efforts in optics, including optimized focusing, wave-front control, coherence, phase retrieval, reconstruction algorithms, information theory and image processing. Some of this work is useful for biomedical imaging in a broader sense.
For more details, please proceed to the research page.


PhD position open in the field of biophysics / x-ray physics / neuro sciences. more details under JOBS, or download pdf


Marina Eckermann receives the Academic Award of the Universitätsbund Göttingen e.V. for her doctoral thesis at the Institute for X-ray Physics. She combined high-resolution three-dimensional X-ray imaging with modern mathematical and statistical analysis methods to identify changes in nerve tissue as a result of neurodegenerative disease. For example, Marina discovered previously undescribed changes in the cell structure of the hippocampus of our brain that occur in Alzheimer’s disease.

Publication on phase contrast X-ray tomography of lung tissue from Covic-19 patients (Eckermann, Frohn, Reichardt et al., eLife (2020), 9:e60408) featured in press release
and in NDR mediathek (both in German only)

Freundeskreis des Forschungszentrums Karlsruhe e. V. : Otto Haxel Award for Physics 2019 for Mareike Töpperwien for an outstanding dissertation

Press release Google Maps für das Kleinhirn (press release in German only, featuring publication Mareike Töpperwien et al., Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci., doi/10.1073/pnas.1801678115)

Mareike Töpperwien successfully defended her PhD thesis "3d virtual histology of neuronal tissue by propagation-based x-ray phase-contrast tomography"

Markus Osterhoff was awarded the Dectris Award