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

Majd Al-Naji
Biorefinery and sustainable chemistry, green chemistry

Thomas Braun
Metal organic chemistry, late-metal catalysis

Holger Dau
X-ray spectroscopy

Matthias Driess
Organometallic chemistry, ligand design

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

Sebastian Matera
Multiscale modeling

Martin Oestreich
Organic synthesis, ligand design, FLP

Kallol Ray
Lewis acid cooperation, mechanism

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

Karsten Reuter
Predictive-quality multiscale materials modeling

Michael Römelt
Computational chemistry, theoretical spectrocopy

Beatriz Roldan Cuenya
Surface science, nanoparticles, electrochemistry

Reinhard Schomäcker
Catalyst performance, kinetic studies, reactor design

Peter Strasser
Electrochemistry, CO2 activation


Arne Thomas
Materials synthesis

Contact 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. Kallol Ray
Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin 
Institut für Chemie
Brook-Taylor-Strasse 2
12489 Berlin
+49(30) 20937385