Unit A: Coupled chemocatalytic reactions

Our Challenge

Design and control of the synergistic effects between two or more chemocatalytically active sites.

Our Approach

We aim to understand how exactly coupling works in a catalytic system: we need to identify the decisive parameters that control synergistic effects in a system. In a next step, our goal is to design catalytic systems in which we precisely control the coupling of different catalytically active sites. Therefore, we will explore new synthetic strategies for combining two or more catalytically active sites in a defined manner:

  • Single atomic sites in solutions
  • Supported on solids
  • Arrays of deposited nanoparticles

We analyze whether precise control over spatial and temporal coupling of these sites makes it possible to switch on or off consecutive catalytic reactions which are otherwise hardly achievable.

For instance, cooperativity or communication between single atomic centers will be predetermined by distance control in complexes of two atoms of main-group elements or transition metals.

Whereas closely spaced reactive sites may involve synergistic effects, increasing the separation might favor uncommon molecular coordination modes in bond activation, thereby enabling distinct consecutive reaction pathways and/or selectivities in coupled catalytic reactions.

Team of Unit A

Markus Antonietti
Colloid and polymer chemistry, synthesis of electrode materials

Thomas Braun
Metal organic chemistry, late-metal catalysis

Holger Dau
X-ray spectroscopy


Matthias Driess
Organometallic chemistry, ligand design

Tobias Gensch
Machine Learning for molecular design and catalyst discovery

Franziska Hess
Catalyst degradation, kinetic Monte Carlo simulations

Walid Hetaba
Analytical Electron Microscopy, Automation in Electron Microscopy

Martin Kaupp
Theoretical chemistry, quantum chemistry


Christian Limberg
Ligand design, small molecule activation


Shuang Li
Nanoporous materials, metal-organic hybrid catalysts

Sebastian Matera
Multiscale modeling

Martin Oestreich
Organic synthesis, ligand design, FLP

Martin Oschatz
Heterogeneous catalysis, nanoparticles, electrode materials

Bartolomäus Pieber
Microfluidics, flow chemistry


Kallol Ray
Lewis acid cooperation, mechanism


Jens-Uwe Repke
Reactive flow simulation, CFD, mass transport

Karsten Reuter
Predictive-quality multiscale materials modeling

Beatriz Roldan Cuenya
Surface science, nanoparticles, electrochemistry

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

Reinhard Schomäcker
Catalyst performance, kinetic studies, reactor design


Matthias Schwalbe
Ligand design, metal cooperativity


Peter Strasser
Electrochemistry, CO2 activation


Johannes Teichert
Molecular catalysts, site-selective catalysis

Arne Thomas
Materials  synthesis

Inez Weidinger
Surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy

Kontakt Unit A

Prof. Dr. Reinhard Schomäcker
TU Berlin
Institute of Chemistry, Office TC 8
Straße des 17. Juni 124
10623 Berlin
+49 (0)30 314-24973

Prof. Dr. Arne Thomas
TU Berlin
Institute of Chemistry, Office BA 2
Hardenbergstr. 40
10623 Berlin