"If you're having visions, go see your doctor." is a frequently quoted saying by former German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt (1918-2015), and yet today scientists cannot avoid placing their own actions in a larger and more forward-looking context. Catalysis research deals with very current topics and plays an outstanding role as one of the key technologies in many innovative and current research fields and in the development of technologies that might still be considered "futuristic" today. Countless examples can be found, ranging from the storage of regenerative energy in the form of chemical compounds, the conversion of carbon dioxide into useful synthesis building blocks (and the prevention of its escape as a greenhouse gas), the general energy- and resource-efficient production of chemicals and not to forget the biocatalytic preparation of pharmaceutical active substances. Today, the field of catalysis thus encompasses homogeneous, heterogeneous and biocatalytic synthetic challenges and applications ranging from the laboratory research to large-scale industry applications (e.g. petrochemistry). The methods for analysis of the catalytic reactions, catalysts, catalyst components and reaction products are particularly diverse between these branches of catalysis, requiring specialist knowledge and equipment in many cases.
With our research work, we want to contribute to the development and application of new homogeneous and heterogeneous catalysts and the understanding of homogeneous catalytic reactions in particular and are currently concentrating on the use of transition metals from the first row of the periodic table, so-called base metals. In addition to basic research, we are also interested in questions of catalysis from industrial applications, where fundamental understanding of new catalytic processes is often required, thus also leading to the development of a modified suitable catalysts.