Objectives of UniSysCat
Our central objective is to master a very demanding research challenge: catalytic networks. Our aim is to understand networks in chemical and biological catalysis. Our vision would be to reproduce and control complex catalytic networks - our way towards manifold powerful future applications.
As the names says - UniSysCat, Unifying Systems in Catalysis - we investigate catalytic systems. A catalytic system consists of different parts that are coupled, which means they interact with each other. And this interaction depends on many factors. Only if all parts of the catalytic system are perfectly tuned and adjusted to each other, catalysis can work. Our idea is to understand how certain factors affect the function of a catalytic system. Here, our central research questions are:
1: How do catalytic systems function?
2: Are there common and specific coupling concepts?
3: Can we design coupled networks with new functions?
Catalytic networks represent the guiding principle of physiological processes. UniSysCat's ultimate goal is to modify and develop catalytic networks with new functions for future applications.
A catalytic system accelerates the chemical reaction of an input reactant to an output product. The system here has two parts symbolized by a green and a red gear wheel. These two are coupled - they can interact with each other thanks to the coupling. Once the coupling is disturbed, the whole system will not function anymore! The coupling depends on many factors such as the local concentraion of a chemical substance or steric factors.
We'd like to further strengthen catalysis research in the Berlin and Potsdam region. To accomplish this goal, the promotion of undergraduate and junior researchers is of particular importance.
Undergraduate researchers may find support at EC2/BIG-NSE - the Berlin International Graduate School of Science and Engineering (BIG-NSE) which is hosted by the Einstein Center for Catalysis (EC2), funded by the Einstein Foundation Berlin.
Moreover, UniSysCat hosts the Chemical Invention Factory (CIF) - a working space for young entrepreneurs. The CIF constitutes the first incubation center for start-ups in green chemistry in Germany.
The CIF is complemented by BasCat, the joint lab of UniCat and BASF located at the TU Berlin as an interface with industry for the transfer of fundamental research results of UniSysCat into industrial applications.