Kliniken &… Institute Zentrum für… Medizinische… Diagnostik / Forschung… Forschung Research Kurz

Research Group Kurz


Dr. Jochen Kurz

Dept. of Medical Microbiology and Hygiene
Im Neuenheimer Feld 324
69120 Heidelberg

Phone +49 6221 56 37810


Environmental hygiene, photocatalytic systems, water microbiology and water chemistry.

The lab’s research focusses on the broad field of water hygiene. What is ‘good’ drinking water? Which chemical and microbial parameters can be used to define a baseline for healthy or perturbed water? How can we translate the research findings to engineered systems such as drinking water systems in buildings? Which new technologies can lead to less energy consuming water preparation? How can we connect water preparation and solar driven energy production?

We "dive" into water systems to detect and analyze pathogenic bacteria such as Legionella, Pseudomonas, non-tuberculous mycobacteria and also antimicrobial resistant bacteria. Water systems can be altered by stressors such as temperature, nutrient availability, microbiota composition, and system materials. We study the interaction of bacteria with hosts, other bacteria, and biofilms, as well as the chemical properties of water systems.

Furthermore, we are working on novel technologies based on photocatalysis and apply them to the treatment of water.

The lab is accredited by the DAkkS according to ISO 17025 for chemical and microbial analysis of water.


Development of measurement methods for the determination of photocatalytic activity

Titanium dioxide is known as a photocatalyst, that may be activated by UV-A light and thus be able to lead to chemical reactions, to mineralize organic compounds, to inactivate biomolecules and to kill microorganisms, respectively. To estimate the capability of the photocatalytic activity we established a novel experimental setup using photovoltage measurements. A distinct correlation between the photocatalytic activity of the titanium dioxide samples and the measurable photovoltages could be demonstrated. The experimental setups include the construction of different electrochemical cells based on TiO2 and using different liquid and gel electrolytes. The investigations are carried out on titanium dioxide layers as well as on TiO2 particle materials. Beside the electrochemical measurements we also work with conventionally used methods for the determination of the photocatalytic activity like the decolourization of methylene blue solutions. Additionally, the increase of carbon dioxide concentration in the gas phase is taken as a measure for total mineralization.

Lab members

Claudia Gutfleisch
Katja Bauer
Martin Förch

Selected publications

J. Kurz, L. Erdinger, 2022

A novel route to estimate the photocatalytic activity of titanium dioxide via voltage measurements

Photochemical & Photobiological Sciences