Ralf Biehl

Dr. Ralf Biehl

Scientific Staff at JCNS-1/IBI-8: Neutron Scattering and Biological Matter


neutron scattering, molecular biophysics, X-ray scattering, soft matter, biology matter, simulation and modell building


+49 2461/61-4685


ORCID: 0000-0002-1999-547X


Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH
52428 Jülich

Jülich Centre for Neutron Science (JCNS)

Neutronenstreuung und weiche Materie (JCNS-1)

Gebäude 04.8 / Raum 380

Research Interests

Proteins are the molecular machinery of life. As nanomachines of metabolism, they are in every cell of our body tirelessly active, transport, synthesize, divide and transform substances.

Neutron Spin Echo Spectroscopy (NSE) is a versatile tool to investigate functional collective dynamics as large-scale movements on the 1 to 200 nanosecond timescale on different length scales with the ability to determine the relaxation time and amplitude of the motions.

In combination with other inelastic NS techniques, SANS/SAXS and NMR structure and function of proteins can be enlightened on the natural size- and time-scale of these macromolecules.

My general interest is to identify functional domain motion and characterize timescale and amplitudes by combining neutron scattering methods like NSE with other complementary biophysical methods.

In recent studies we found large-scale collective motions of domains in yeast alcohol dehydrogenase and phosphoglycerate kinase, determined the activation energy of internal friction in unfolded Ribonuclease A or identified the force constant and the relevant friction contribution in immunoglobulin IgG. Currently the LINXS Antibody in solution research program is a focus. Other topics are dynamics of intrinsically disordered proteins (IDP) examining the source of internal friction which determines reconfiguration times of IDP.

Additional polymer materials with structural features like proteins (charge, hydrophobicity) are of interest. We examine e.g. alternating amphiphilic polymers creating different structures or translocating through biological membranes, which can be used for drug delivery.

Related to the scientific focus on scattering methods I develop the Python software Jscatter with the aim to provide useful models for neutron and X-ray scattering form factors, structure factors and dynamic models (quasi elastic neutron scattering) and other related topics. An aim is to provide easier access for non specialist to difficult methods and models with the ability to document how data were analysed using scripts also in Jupyter.

Letzte Änderung: 20.12.2023