Institute of Inorganic Chemistry
Kekulé-Institute of Organic and Biochemistry
Clausius-Institute for Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
Mulliken Center for Theoretical Chemistry
Institute of Inorganic Chemistry
Kekulé-Institute of Organic and Biochemistry
Clausius-Institute for Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
Mulliken Center for Theoretical Chemistry

Research of the Chemistry Department

Research in chemistry at three institutes - Inorganic, Organic and Physical and Theoretical Chemistry - covers a broad range of topics from basic research to applied and sustainable chemistry. Numerous interdisciplinary foci also play a role.

Inorganic Chemistry

Inorganic Chemistry at the University of Bonn covers the broad spectrum from molecular chemistry and organometallic coordination chemistry to solid state chemistry and inorganic materials.
The research of the group of Jun. Professor Bismuto focuses on bismuth compounds for catalysis and optoelectronics, as well as metal and element organic molecular chemistry.
The research of Professor Filippou's group is aimed at synthesis, reactivity, and elucidation of the electronic structure of compounds of silicon, germanium, and tin that exhibit novel π-bonds (e.g., triple bonds to transition metals) or novel coordination modes (e.g., linear-dicoordinated and planar-tetracoordinated silicon compounds).
The work group of Professor Lu  synthesizes and characterizes well-defined catalysts for the conversion of abundant small molecules such as N2 and CO2 into useful chemical feedstocks such as ammonia and methanol, respectively. A major challenge in developing such catalysts is tuning multi-electron and proton-coupled reactivity, including through ligand design. Links to the pharmaceutical industry can be found in the development of catalysts for C-F bond cleavage.
In Professor Glaum's team, anhydrous phosphates of transition metals with a broad structural variability are investigated. The dimensionality of the metal-oxide substructures occurring in them determines color, magnetic behavior as well as their redox catalytic properties. The research interests focused on this include the synthesis, crystallization and physicochemical characterization of this class of substances.
The research activities of Professor Kornienko's group are aimed at addressing current energy challenges by using sunlight for synthesis. For this purpose, materials for electro- and biocatalysis are developed and the mechanisms are explored in-situ or in-operando

© R. Weisbarth
Eine Wissenschaftlerin und ein Wissenschaftler arbeiten hinter einer Glasfassade und mischen Chemikalien mit Großgeräten.
© Sigurd Höger

Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry

In organic chemistry, target structure-oriented (Dickschat, Höger, Lützen, Menche, von Krbek) and method-oriented syntheses (Bunescu, Gansäuer, Menche) are investigated. On the one hand, the focus is on sustainable chemistry (Bunescu, Gansäuer, Dickschat) in the form of the development of catalytic (radical) reactions, electrochemistry and the elucidation of the ecological role of volatile organic compounds. In addition, researchers are investigating the direction of supramolecular chemistry, which is traditional for Bonn (Höger, Lützen, von Krbek). Here, self-assembly processes of (metallo-)supramolecular aggregates in and far from equilibrium are as much in the center of interest as the preparation of conjugated linear, cyclic and ladder oligomers and polymers with applications in organic electronics and sensor technology as well as for surface structuring and functionalization. The Engeser group focuses on reaction mechanisms in solution and in the gas phase.
Furthermore, organic chemistry has a focus on natural product chemistry driven by synthetic method development (Menche, Dickschat) with links to pharmaceutical and medicinal chemistry. In addition, method-based mass spectrometry (Engeser) and scanning tunneling microscopy (Jester) are practiced in organic chemistry, from which all working groups benefit just as much as from the excellent equipment in the area of high-performance liquid chromatography and optical spectroscopy (UV-Vis, fluorescence and CD spectroscopy) and the departments for single crystal structure analysis and NMR spectroscopy located in the Central Analytics.

Physical Chemistry

Physical chemistry offers numerous spectroscopic method developments e.g. in multidimensional nonlinear laser spectroscopy (Vöhringer), pulsed multifrequency electron paramagnetic resonance spectroscopy (Schiemann) or single molecule and high power light microscopy (Kubitscheck). This is complemented by developments in theoretical chemistry in the field of spectroscopy (Grimme, Kirchner). The application of microscopic techniques to characterize transport processes through soft interfaces such as cell nuclear membranes in biophysical chemistry (Kubitscheck) and the preparation and study of thin organic films on solid interfaces (Sokolowski) are also being pursued. The research groups of the Institute of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry thus investigate at the molecular level the structure, dynamics and reactivity of simple chemical model systems, membranes, associates on surfaces and complex materials up to biomolecular machines in whole cells. They not only apply modern physical methods from the fields of spectroscopy and microscopy, as well as quantum chemical and molecular dynamics methods, but also develop new methods themselves. The work in physical chemistry is interdisciplinary and internationally oriented.

© P. Vöhringer
© V. Lannert

Theoretical Chemistry

Theoretical chemistry (Grimme, Kirchner, Bredow), for example, is characterized by the pronounced development of methods up to the treatment of complex systems. The group around Grimme develops the computationally expensive methods of wave function theory as well as dispersion-corrected density functionals, tight-binding MO methods and force fields coupled with special search algorithms and processes. The Kirchner group is developing methods for the description and analysis of complex systems that are indigenous to sustainable chemistry, e.g., ionic liquids or deep-melting solvent mixtures or, for example, battery research. Among other solid-state relevant topics, these are also investigated in the Bredow working group by means of theoretical solid-state chemistry.

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