Unit D: Catalysis with electronically activated molecules

Our Challenge

Drive or control challenging chemical processes via the electronic excitation of molecules that are otherwise unfavorable under ambient reaction conditions.

Our Approach

Electronic excitation will be achieved by light absorption or cathodic electron injection for selective transformations of substrates into value-added chemicals.

We will develop photo(electro)catalytic reactions in non-aqueous environments inspired by Unit B, to enable the reduction of challenging element-organic substrates containing stable E=O (e.g., P=O) and E-O bonds (e.g., Si-O). In this way, we aim to re-activate functional compounds which are key building blocks for various chemical transformations.

The efforts to identify similarities between coupling mechanisms and those of light-driven and light-controlled biocatalytic systems interconnect Unit D with Unit B and Unit E.

Team of Unit D

Markus Antonietti
Colloid and polymer chemistry, synthesis of electrode materials

Holger Dau
X-ray spectroscopy

Matthias Driess
Molecular synthesis, chemical catalysis, main group chemistry


Tobias Gensch
Machine Learning for molecular design and catalyst discovery

Franziska Hess
Catalyst degradation, kinetic Monte Carlo simulations

Marius Horch
Ultrafast, multidimensional and in vivo vibrational spectroscopy

Sebastian Matera
Multiscale modeling

Bartolomäus Pieber
Microfluidics, flow chemistry

Karsten Reuter
Predictive-quality multiscale materials modeling

Beatriz Roldan Cuenya
Surface science, nanoparticles, electrochemistry

Peter Saalfrank
Theoretical chemistry, quantum chemistry, dynamics

Robert Schlögl
Electron microscopy, X-ray spectroscopy, catalyst characterization

Reinhard Schomäcker
Catalyst performance, kinetic studies, reactor design


Peter Strasser
Electrochemistry, CO2 activation

Arne Thomas
Materials  synthesis

Roel van de Krol
Transient spectroscopy, photoelectrodes

Inez Weidinger
Surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy

Kontakt Unit D

Prof. Dr. Matthias Driess
TU Berlin
Institute of Chemistry, Office C 2
Straße des 17. Juni 115
10623 Berlin
+49 (0)30 314-29731