Chemical Physics of Multifunctional Molecules and Solids

· Synthesis:        Organometallic and inorganic hybrid materials

· Theory &          Chemical bonding and dynamics in real space

   Experiment:    Spin and charge density studies of molecules and solids

· Reactivity:       C-H and Si-H bond activation processes

· Properties:       Exotic multifunctional properties
                         (e.g. coexistence of superconductivity and magnetism)


The design and characterization of organometallics complexes displaying activated C-H or Si-H bonds in the ground state is one of the major topics of the research group "Chemical Physics and Materials Science".

Research on hybrid materials displaying multifunctional properties is another vital topic in our group. Especially, the achievement of electronically correlated properties (e.g. coexistence of superconductivity and magnetism) by combining individual components (e.g. inorganic host lattices and molecular organometallic precursors) lacking any correlated physical functionality is a challenge in the design of advanced functional materials

In this respect a wide variety of compounds, ranging from organometallic complexes to new materials such as conducting organometallic polymers, charge transfer salts and metal organic framework compounds is the focus of our research interests. These materials are characterized and tailored to optimize their specific electronic, optical and magnetic properties; as well as their potential applications in chemical catalysis.

The diverse nature of these classes of compounds affords a wide variety and flexibility in synthetic techniques and approaches. Among these are, for example: (i) organometallic synthesis of air-sensitive compounds employing classical Schlenck techniques or glove boxes; (ii) hydrothermal synthesis (iii) chimie douce approaches and  (i) high-temperature synthesis in arc-furnaces at temperatures up to 3000oC under inert gas conditions or crystal growth employing the Czochralski method or chemical transport techniques.

Characterization of electronic and magnetic properties involves measurements of the specific heat, magnetic dc- and ac-susceptibility and the electrical resistivity. All methods can be performed in the temperature range between 50 mK and 400 K, and in magnetic fields as high as 17 T. These methods are augmented by spectroscopic techniques such as NMR and IR spectroscopy (solid state and solution), and chemical analysis.

To complement these classical techniques the group is developing theoretical concepts and new instrumental techniques which provide local insight into the electronic structure of compounds at a subatomic resolution. This is accomplished by experimental charge density studies using combined high-resolution X-ray and neutron diffraction experiments at low temperature (> 200 mK). For example, the groups runs a new neutron diffractometer at the high flux neutron source in Garching (Munich), along with several X-ray diffractometers in Augsburg.

Teaching: Chemistry, Chemical Physics, Materials Science