Research interests

  • biological and artificial photosynthesis
  • mechanistic investigation of water oxidation and further processes in chemical energy conversion
  • structure-function relations in metalloenzymes and synthetic systems
  • X-ray spectroscopy with synchrotron radiation
  • spectroscopic tracking of processes in biological water oxidation (photosystem II) and (electro)catalysis
  • biotechnological and biomimetic approaches towards light-driven fuel production

Awards (selection)

1990 Feodor-Lynen Fellowship of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation (AvH) (USA)
1990 Faculty Prize for Mathematics and Science, U Kiel
1986 Minerva Prize of Minerva Foundation (fellowship for research in Israel), funded by the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF)

Prof. Dr. Holger Dau 
FU Berlin
Department of Physics
Arnimallee 14
14195 Berlin
+49 (0)30 838-53581
+49 (0)30 838-56510

Publications (selection)

R. D. L. Smith, C. Pasquini, S. Loos, P. Chernev, K. Klingan, P. Kubella, M. Mohammadi, D. Gonzalez-Flores, H. Dau, Spectroscopic identification of active sites for the oxygen evolution reaction on iron-cobalt oxides, Nature Communications 2017, 8, 2022.

I. Zaharieva, D. González-Flores, B. Asfari, C. Pasquini, M. R. Mohammadi, K. Klingan, I. Zizak, Loos, P. Chernev, H. Dau, Water oxidation catalysis – role of redox and structural dynamics in biological photosynthesis and inorganic manganese oxides, Energy & Environmental Science 2016, 9, 2433–2443.

M. Gorlin, P. Chernev, J. Ferreira de Araujo, T. Reier, S. Dresp, B. Paul, R. Krahnert, H. Dau, P. Strasser, Oxygen evolution reaction dynamics, faradaic charge efficiency, and the active metal redox states of Ni-Fe oxide water splitting electrocatalysts, Journal of the American Chemical Society 2016, 138, 5603–5614.

M. Risch, F. Ringleb, M. Kohlhoff, P. Bogdanoff, P. Chernev, I. Zaharieva, H. Dau, Water oxidation by amorphous cobalt-based oxides: in situ tracking of redox transitions and mode of catalysis, Energy & Environmental Science 2015, 8, 661–674.

T. N. Huan, E. S. Andreiadis, J. Heidkamp, P. Simon, E. Derat, S. Cobo, G. Royal, A. Bergmann, P. Strasser, H. Dau, V. Artero, M. Fontecave, From molecular copper complexes to composite electrocatalytic materials for selective reduction of CO2 to formic acid, Journal of Materials Chemistry A 2015, 3, 3901–3907.

A. Bergmann, E. Martinez-Moreno, D. Teschner, P. Chernev, M. Gliech, J. F. de Araujo, T. Reier, H. Dau, P. Strasser, Reversible amorphization and the catalytically active state of crystalline Co3O4 during oxygen evolution, Nature Communications 2015, 6, 8625.

D. Gonzalez-Flores, I. Sanchez, I. Zaharieva, K. Klingan, J. Heidkamp, P. Chernev, P. W. Menezes, M. Driess, H. Dau, M. L. Montero, Heterogeneous water oxidation: surface activity versus amorphization activation in cobalt phosphate catalysts, Angewandte Chemie International Edition 2015, 54, 2472–2476.

I. Zaharieva, P. Chernev, M. Risch, K. Klingan, M. Kohlhoff, A. Fischer, H. Dau, Electrosynthesis, functional, and structural characterization of a water-oxidizing manganese oxide, Energy & Environmental Science 2012, 5, 7081–7089.

S. Cobo, J. Heidkamp, P.-A. Jacques, J. Fize, V. Fourmond, L. Guetaz, B. Jousselme, V. Ivanova, H. Dau, S. Palacin, M. Fontecave, V. Artero, A Janus cobalt-based catalytic material for electro-splitting of water, Nature Materials 2012, 11, 802–807.

A. Klauss, M. Haumann, H. Dau, Alternating electron and proton transfer steps in photosynthetic water oxidation, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 2012, 109, 16035–16040.


V. Artero, M. Fontecave, S. Cobo, P.-A. Jacques, H. Dau, J. Heidkamp, Method for preparing a catalyst mediating H2 evolution, said catalyst and uses thereof, 2013, WO 2013150116 A1.

Latest News

UniSysCat researchers revealed atomistic details on the mechanism of photosynthetic oxygen formation – just published in two articles in “Nature”

Five UniSysCat groups provide insights into the structure of intermediate Q responsible for the conversion of methane to methanol in soluble methane monooxygenase

Two joint works of 3 Unisyscat groups show the vital role of sulfur: non-innocence in the catalytic reduction of dioxygen to hydrogen peroxide & in mimicking the reactivity of ribonucleotide reductases