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© Prof. Dr. Sandro Jahn

Jahn, Sandro

Prof. Dr., Department of Geosciences, Institute of Geology and Mineralogy, University of Cologne


University of Cologne
Institute of Geology and Mineralogy
Zülpicher Straße 49b
50674 Köln


Fon: +49 221 470 4420

Research topics

  • Atomic structure of fluids and melts at high P and T: We use a combination of experimental and computational methods to develop new structure and thermodynamic models for model systems of geological melts and fluids.
  • Physical properties of minerals at high P and T: We study physical properties of minerals with various methods and in a wide range of relevant pressure and temperature conditions.
  • Trace element partitioning and stable isotope fractionation: Using first-principles molecular simulations we develop predictive methods to reveal the atomic-scale origin of element and isotope distribution between different phases in the Earth's interior.

Resources and technologies

  • First-principles simulations: Based on quantum-mechanics in the framework of density functional theory and capable to predict material properties without empirical parameters. Often they require substantial computational resources and need to be performed on supercomputers.
  • Raman spectroscopy: A tool to study the vibrational properties of materials, which are indicative of chemical bonding and molecular structures. Also, the frequencies of atomic vibrations are key ingredients for thermodynamic properties, such as entropy and heat capacity, and for understanding mass-dependent isotope fractionation.
  • Diamond anvil cells: Used to perform experiments up to very high pressures (Megabar) to model the behavior of the deep Earth in the laboratory.


  • Wagner, J., Adjaoud, O., Marquardt, K., Jahn, S. (2016): Anisotropy of self-diffusion in forsterite grain boundaries derived from molecular dynamics simulations, Contrib. Mineral. Petrol. 171, 98
  • Jahn, S., Dubrail, J., Wilke, M. (2015): Complexation of Zr and Hf monomers in supercritical aqueous solutions: Insights from ab initio molecular dynamics simulations, Chem. Geol. 418, 30-39
  • Jahn, S., Kowalski, P. M. (2014): Theoretical approaches to structure and spectroscopy of Earth materials, Rev. Mineral. Geochem. 78, 691-743
  • Haigis, V., Salanne, M., Jahn, S. (2012): Thermal conductivity of MgO, MgSiO3 perovskite and post-perovskite in the Earth's deep mantle, Earth Planet. Sci. Lett. 355-356, 102-108
  • Jahn, S., Madden, P. A. (2007): Modeling Earth materials from crustal to lower mantle conditions: A transferable set of interaction potentials for the CMAS system, Phys. Earth Planet. Int. 162, 129-139
  • full publication list: