Centre for Chemical Microscopy

The ProVIS - Centre for Chemical Microscopy is an unique research platform that combines high resolution structural and chemical imaging with high resolution mass spectrometry for metabolomics, proteomics and metallomics. The mission of ProVIS is to identify and characterize (bio)-chemical processes driven by microorganisms in soil, water, plants, human tissue and blood.

ProVIS provides access to scientific instrumentation and laboratory facilities with expert guidance and support to enable collaborative and multidisciplinary research. We welcome users from academia and industry.

Your Experiment in ProVIS

Procedure for running an experiment at ProVIS:

  1. Contact us and discuss your idea with a group leader group leader
  2. Fill and sign the application form and send it to
  3. Await notification of approval or rejection from scientific panel in ProVIS within the following month.

Expert Groups and Equipment

The core technique of the group is Fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) for cell identification.


Zeiss Imager
Zeiss Palm laser-microdissection system

  • epifluorescence microscope  Zeiss Axio Imager Z2
  • laser microdissection system

  • Bruker SolariX 12T FT-ICR mass spectrometer
  • Bruker Autoflex Speed MALDI-ToF mass spectrometer


Zeiss Merlin VP Compact

Zeiss Merlin VP Compact

Field-emitting scanning electron microscope with Bruker Quantax XFlash Flat Quad energy-dispersive X-ray spectrometer.

  • high-resolution imaging (SE, BSE, STEM)
  • elemental nano-analytics
Zeiss Orion NanoFab

Zeiss Orion NanoFab

Scanning helium ion microscope equipped with electron-flood gun for charge compensation and gas-injection system.

  • high-resolution imaging (SE detection)
  • nano-fabrication (ion-milling with He or Ne)
WITec Alpha 300 RA, confocal Raman microscope with AFM option

WITec Alpha 300RA

Confocal Raman microscope with AFM. Excitation: solid state lasers 532nm, 785nm and He-Ne laser. Equipped with True Surface option.

  • acquisition of Raman spectra
  • chemical mapping
  • high-resolution atomic force microscopy


Dr. Matthias Schmidt

+49 341 235 1358


Cameca nanoSIMS 50L
ION-ToF time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometer
  • Cameca nanoSIMS 50L sector-field secondary ion mass spectrometer
  • IONTOF ToF.SIMS.5 time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometer

Dr. Hryhoriy Stryhanyuk
+49 341 235 1359

  • High-resolution mass spectrometry of peptides and proteins (global analysis or gel-bands)
  • Analysis of peptide derivatization
  • Analysis of isotope incorporation into peptides
  • Instrument: LC-MS/MS (Orbitrap Fusion) coupled via an Advion
  • We are happy to measure in scientific cooperations but we also offer commercial analyses. Do not hesitate to contact us ( if you are interested.


  • Neptune Multiple-collector inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (Neptune MC-ICPMS, Thermo Fisher Scientific) with Trace 1310 GC (gas chromatography, Thermo Fisher Scientific)


Dr. Matthias Gehre
+ 49 (0) 341 235 1361

Dr. Steffen Kümmel
+ 49 (0) 341 235 1362

 Sample Preparation and Storage:

  • Leica EM CPD300 critical point drier
  • Leica EM SCD 500 sputter-coater
  • Leica EM HPM100 high-pressure freezer
  • Leica EM GP plunge freezer
  • Leica EM AFS2+EM FSP freeze substitution system
  • Leica EM UC7 ultra-microtome
  • Leica VT1200S vibratome
  • tec-lab liquid nitrogen sample storage

Light Microscopy:

  • 2x Leica M205 FA light microscope
  • Zeiss Observer.Z1 AXIO+PALM laser microdissection system
  • Zeiss Imager.Z2 AXIO fluorescence microscope (3D stacks)
  • Sensofar SNeox 3D optical profilometer with Nanosurf LensAFM
  • WITec Raman microscope with AFM

Electron and Helium Ion Microscopy

  • Zeiss Merlin VP scanning electron microscope (STEM, cryo-SEM, EDX)
  • Zeiss Orion NanoFab (ion-beam imaging, charge compensation, nano-structuring)

Mass Spectrometry:

  • ION-ToF ToF.SIMS5 SIMS microprobe (cryo stage)
  • Cameca nanoSIMS 50L SIMS microprobe
  • SPECTRO-MS ICP-MS double-focussing sector field mass-spectrometer
  • Photon Machines 193nm excimer laser (material ablation for ICP-MS)
  • Bruker autoflex speed MALDI-ToF
  • Bruker solariX XR ultra-high resolution Fourier transform ion cyclotron mass spectrometer
  • Thermo Scientific NEPTUNE multicollector ICP-MS
  • Thermo Scientific Orbitrap Fusion proteomics mass spectrometer hyphenated to a nanoHPLC via an Advion NanoMate

  • Correlia, an ImageJ plug-in for the cp-registration of multimodal correlative microscopy data-sets.

  • identification of microorganisms by fluorescent labeling (FISH and CARD-FSIH)
  • sample preparation of biological specimens for microscopic techniques, including correlative approaches using cryo- or chemical fixation and resin embedding and ultra-thin sectioning.
  • sample preparation of microbial samples for single cell analyses
  • isotope labeling experiments
  • protein-stable isotope probing (SIP)
  • compound-specific isotope analysis (CSIA) of δ37Cl, δ33S and δ34S in organic compounds
  • stable isotope analysis for forensic questions
  • isotope fractionation for the characterization of biogeochemical processes
  • correlative microscopy and 2D image registration
  • high-resolution imaging of biological specimens with light, electrons and ions
  • surface modification
  • high-resolution surface analytics
  • micro-analysis of geological specimen

  • microbe-root-soil interplay in the rhizosphere
  • microbial mediated corrosion
  • effects and fate of antibiotics in environmental compartments
  • microbial ecosystems (predatory bacteria, bacteriophages, phototroph-heterotroph)
  • investigation of the fate of organic chemicals in the environment
  • assessment of in situ transformation and (bio)degradation of organic compounds by stable isotope fractionation
  • elucidation of transformation pathways of organic compounds by stable isotope analytics
  • isotope forensics
  • incorporation of chemicals into the biomass of microorganisms
  • investigation of metabolic pathways
  • determination of protein expression patterns, protein modification and derivatization


You could use our publication index for further requests.

2024 (3)

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2023 (7)

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2022 (9)

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2021 (31)

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2020 (26)

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2019 (20)

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2018 (23)

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2017 (19)

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2016 (16)

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2015 (10)

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2014 (2)

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Bandara, Dr. Chaturanga, Bandara, Chaturanga

Davoudpour, Dr. Yalda

Musat, Dr. Niculina, Musat, Niculina

Schwab, Dr. Laura, Schwab, Laura