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


Franziska Hess
Catalyst degradation, kinetic Monte Carlo simulations

Marius Horch
Ultrafast, multidimensional and in vivo vibrational spectroscopy

Sebastian Matera
Multiscale modeling

Karsten Reuter
Predictive-quality multiscale materials modeling

Beatriz Roldan Cuenya
Surface science, nanoparticles, electrochemistry

Peter Saalfrank
Theoretical chemistry, quantum chemistry, dynamics

Reinhard Schomäcker
Catalyst performance, kinetic studies, reactor design


Peter Strasser
Electrochemistry, CO2 activation

Arne Thomas
Materials  synthesis


Roel van de Krol
Transient spectroscopy, photoelectrodes

Renske van der Veen
Time-resolved X-ray spectroscopy and electron microscopy, ultrafast excited-state dynamics

Contact 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

Prof. Dr. Arne Thomas
TU Berlin
Institute of Chemistry, Office BA 2
Hardenbergstraße 40
10623 Berlin
+49 (0)30 314-25118
+49 (0)30 314-29271