University of Innsbruck

Chemistry and Physics of super cooled ice and water

Our research focuses on understanding the fascinating properties of amorphous systems, which lack long-range order in their atomic or molecular structure. We investigate the physics and chemistry of phase transitions in these materials, such as the glass-to-liquid transition and crystallization kinetics, which depend on factors such as temperature, pressure, and the presence of crystalline seeds.

We also study the different phases of ice, including metastable and stable phases, and surface premelting, which can have important implications for the behavior of water and ice in various environments.

Another important area of our research is low-temperature chemistry, which involves studying chemical reactions and intermediates at very low temperatures. We use techniques such as hyperquenching to rapidly cool samples to very low temperatures, allowing us to trap and study highly reactive intermediates that are difficult to isolate under normal conditions. Our work on low-temperature chemistry includes the isolation of metastable intermediates like H2CO3.

Through our research, we aim to deepen our understanding of the properties and behavior of these fascinating systems, and to apply this knowledge to a range of fields, from materials science to atmospheric chemistry.

Assoc.-Prof. Thomas Loerting

Assoc.-Prof. Dr. Mag. Thomas Loerting

Eis aus dem weiten All

Ice from space


We congratulate Christina Tonauer on the successful article in the magazine DerStandard.

Ice 🧊 is not just ice: In its Research Special supplement, the Standard reports on the efforts of Thomas Lörting's research group to understand the special properties of frozen water and liquids and therefore spoke to Christina Maria Tonauer, who was awarded the Agnes Pockels Promotional Prize of the German Bunsen Societyat for her great research the end of 2022.


Institut für Physikalische Chemie


Innrain 52c

A - 6020 Innsbruck


Group leader

Assoc.-Prof. Dr. 
Thomas Lörting