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Research topics

The main focus of our research lies in redox-active π-conjugated metal-organic molecules where the metal atoms constitute an integral part of the delocalized π-system and endow it with low oxidation potentials, increased stabilities of the oxidized forms and intense electronic absorptions in the visible regime. In particular, we have investigated allenylidene complexes [Cl(L2)Ru=C=C=C(ERn)R’]+ (L2 = bidentate diphosphine ligand) and vinyl complexes [(CO)Cl(PR3)2LM(CH=CHR’)] (M = Ru, Os; L = neutral donor ligand). Details of this research can be found in the appropriate documents of this page.

Apart from the routine spectroscopic and, if possible, crystallographic characterization methods we also employ various electrochemical techniques in order to investigate the electron transfer properties of the redox-active metal-organic π-conjugated molecules. We routinely generate and spectroscopically characterize the associated oxidized or reduced forms by means of IR, UV/Vis/NIR and ESR spectroscopy. This provides us with detailed insight into the composition of the “redox-orbitals” that are involved in the electron transfer events. Accompanying quantum chemical calculations help us to put our experimental results into context and to arrive at a deeper understanding of the bonding in the delocalized metal-organic π-systems.

Based on allenylidene and vinyl complexes we are presently exploring

• molecule-based electrically conductive materials
• photoaddressable switches
• electrochromic materials and redox-responsive dyes
• electron transfer across multiple hydrogen bridges
• electron transfer paths in cross-conjugated π-systems
• mixed-valency in ferrocene-heterometal conjugates


Our group, albeit small, is involved in various national and international collaborations, where we rely on the expertise of other groups for investigations on our systems, perform electrochemical and/or spectroelectrochemical investigations on samples from other groups or work on common research programs. Our present collaboration partners include:

• Dr. Biprajit Sarkar and Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Kaim, University of Stuttgart (ESR-spectroscopy)
• Dr. Stanislav Záli¨, J. Heyrovský Institute of Physical Chemistry v. v. i. of the Czech Academy of Sciences, Prague (quantum chemical calculations)
• Prof. Dr. Hans-Jörg Krüger, University of Kaiserslautern (Mößbauer spectroscopy)
• Prof. Dr. Bernhard Dick, University of Regensburg (Laser excitation and molecular spectroscopy)
• Prof. Dr. Helmut Fischer, University of Konstanz; Priv. Doz. Katja Heinze, University of Heidelberg; Prof. Dr. Heinrich Lang, University of Chemitz; Prof. Dr. Sabine Laschat, University of Stuttgart; Prof. Dr. Franc Meyer, University of Göttingen; Prof. Dr. Oliver Reiser, University of Regensburg; Prof. Dr. Manfred Scheer, University of Regensburg; Prof. Dr. Uli Siemeling, University of Kassel; Prof. Dr. Matthias Wagner, University of Frankfurt (spectroelectrochemical measurements)
• Dr. Jean-Luc Fillaut, Dr. Olivier Lavastre, Université de Rennes (ferrocenyl/heterometal conjugates and enynyl bridged homo- and heterometal complexes)
• Dr. Konrad Kowalski, University of Łodz (azaferrocenes and ferrocenyl/heterometal conjugates)
• Prof. Dr. Michael Knorr, University of Besançon (paracyclophane complexes)

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