Welcome to the Organisch-Chemisches Institut at WWU Münster
© WWU - OC (collage:lt)

11th MSCEC - postponed to March 26th 2021!

MSCEC 2021
© SFB 858

The Collaborative Research Center SFB 858 hosts the 11th "Münster Symposium on Cooperative Effects in Chemistry" in the University Schloss, not in 2020, but on March 26th 2021! We are very grateful, that all plenary speakers, Steven Benner (FfAME Alachua, Florida, USA), Stefanie Dehnen (Philipps-Universität Marburg, GER), Scott E. Denmark (University of Illinois, USA) and Guy Lloyd-Jones (The University of Edinburgh, UK), confirmed their coming also for the next year. For further announcements click here.

Münster (upm)
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New method for molecular functionalization of surfaces

Stable and ordered single molecule layers on silicon through self-assembly / Publication in "Nature Chemistry"
© Dr. Hazem Aldahhak und Dr. Martin Franz

Vergleich der theoretisch berechneten Struktur (DFT, rechts) der geordneten NHC-Einzellage mit dem experimentellen Rastertunnelmikroskopie-Bild (STM, links). N: Stickstoff-, C: Kohlenstoff-, Si: Silizium-, B: Bor-Atom
One vision that is currently driving material scientists is to combine organic molecules (and their diverse functionalities) with the technological possibilities offered by extremely sophisticated semiconductor electronics. Thanks to modern methods of micro- and nanotechnology, the latter designs ever more efficient electronic components for a wide variety of applications. However, it is also increasingly reaching its physical limits: Ever smaller structures for functionalizing semiconductor materials such as silicon cannot be produced using the approaches of classical technology. Scientists have now presented a new approach in the journal Nature Chemistry: They show that stable and yet very well-ordered molecular single layers can be produced on silicon surfaces - by self-assembly. To do this, they use N-heterocyclic carbenes. These are small reactive organic ring molecules whose structure and properties vary in many ways and can be tailored by different "functional" groups. Researchers led by Prof. Dr. Mario Dähne (TU Berlin), Prof. Dr. Norbert Esser (TU Berlin and Leibniz Institute for Analytical Sciences), Prof. Dr. Frank Glorius (University of Münster), Dr. Conor Hogan (Institute of Structure of Matter, National Research Council of Italy, Rome) and Prof. Dr. Wolf Gero Schmidt (University of Paderborn) were involved in the study.

Münster (upm/kk)
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German Research Foundation approves new Research Training Group

Five million euros for chemistry doctoral program at the Universities of Münster and Nagoya (Japan)

Many researchers from Münster and Nagoya will supervise the future Research Training Group.
© WWU - AK Studer

The University of Münster is establishing a new Research Training Group funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG). The bilateral doctoral program "Functional pi-Systems: Activation, Interaction and Application" will start in May and will receive funding of around five million euros for four and a half years.

Münster (upm)
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Researchers first to link silicon atoms on surfaces

Interdisciplinary team develops highly efficient surface reactions / Results published in “Nature Chemistry”

Chemist Dr. Henning Klaasen, physicist Lacheng Liu and chemist Melanie C. Witteler (from left) were instrumental in the study.
© WWU - privat

Chemist Dr. Henning Klaasen, physicist Lacheng Liu and chemist Melanie C. Witteler (from left) were instrumental in the study.
Materials such as gallium arsenide are extremely important for the production of electronic devices. As supplies of it are limited, or they can present health and environmental hazards, specialists are looking for alternative materials. So-called conjugated polymers are candidates. These organic macromolecules have semi-conductor properties, i.e. they can conduct electricity under certain conditions. One possible way of producing them in the desired two-dimensional – i.e. extremely flat – form is presented by surface chemistry, a field of research established in 2007.

Münster (upm/jah)
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Ryan Gilmour elected to the Royal Society of Edinburgh

Chemist becomes Fellow of Scotland's National Academy of Science and Letters
© WWU - Robert Matzke

Prof. Dr. Ryan Gilmour from the Institute of Organic Chemistry at Münster University has been elected to the Royal Society of Edinburgh (RSE), Scotland´s national academy of science and letters. As one of seven personalities elected as corresponding fellows, the chemist joins the ranks of distinguished Fellows resident abroad. “This is the greatest honour of my professional career to date and I look forward to strengthening the bonds between the two countries that I call home”, says Ryan Gilmour.

Münster (upm/kk)
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Münster University receives two new research associations

German Research Foundation funds priority programmes in biology and chemistry
© WWU - Robert Matzke

The German Research Foundation (DFG) has approved two new Priority Programmes (SPP) coordinated by the University of Münster: Bioinformatician Prof Erich Bornberg-Bauer from the Institute of Evolution and Biodiversity is leading the project "Genomic Basis of Evolutionary Innovations (GEvol)", and Chemist Prof Frank Glorius from the Institute of Organic Chemistry is coordinating the project "Use and Development of Machine Learning for Molecular Applications - Molecular Machine Learning". Both programmes focus on informatics technologies in the natural sciences.
Cf. NEWS - Highlights on the Glorius webpage

Münster (upm)
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Breakthrough in the production of three-dimensional molecular structures

New dimensions in organic chemistry through light-mediated synthesis / Publication in "Science"
Experimental setup for photochemical reactions
© Peter Bellotti

A major goal of organic and medicinal chemistry in recent decades has been the rapid synthesis of three-dimensional molecules for the development of new drugs. These drug candidates exhibit a variety of improved properties compared to predominantly flat molecular structures, which are reflected in clinical trials by higher efficacy and success rates. However, they could only be produced at great expense or not at all using previous methods. Chemists led by Prof. Frank Glorius (University of Münster) and his colleagues Prof. M. Kevin Brown (Indiana University Bloomington, USA) and Prof. Kendall N. Houk (University of California, Los Angeles, USA) have now succeeded in converting several classes of flat nitrogen-containing molecules into the desired three-dimensional structures. Using more than 100 novel examples, they were able to demonstrate the broad applicability of the process. This study has now been published in the journal “Science”.

Münster (upm/jah)
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Chemists succeed in synthesis of aminoalcohols by utilizing light

New method for generating the least accessible form of vicinal aminoalcohols / Study published in “Nature Catalysis”
Mowpriya Das (left) and Dr. Tuhin Patra (right)
© WWU - Glorius Group

Whether in beta-blockers to treat high blood pressure or in natural products: So-called vicinal aminoalcohols are high-quality organic compounds that are found in many everyday products. However, their production is difficult. For a long time, chemists are trying to develop efficient methods of synthesizing them. In their recent study published in the journal Nature Catalysis, scientists led by Prof. Dr. Frank Glorius of Münster University have found a solution for the production of a special variant of aminoalcohols. "The new method helps to study the properties of the substance and to find applications for these new compounds in the future", emphasizes Frank Glorius from the Organic Chemistry Institute at Münster University.

Münster (upm/kk)
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Over 20 million euros for two new research alliances

German Research Foundation to fund new Collaborative Research Centres "inSight" and "Intelligent Matter"
The spokesperson for the CRC “Intelligent matter: From responsive to adaptive nanosystems” is chemist Prof. Bart Jan Ravoo (left), his deputy is physicist Prof. Wolfram Pernice.
© Melissa Pernice

A great success for the University of Münster: the German Research Foundation (DFG) is funding two new Collaborative Research Centres (CRC). The two research alliances – entitled “inSight – Multiscale imaging of organ-specific inflammation” and “Intelligent matter: From responsive to adaptive nanosystems” – will together be receiving funding of more than 20 million euros. The projects will be starting in January 2021, running initially for four years. The new Centres are a boost two of the research focuses which the University of Münster has: “Cell Dynamics and Imaging” and “Nanosciences”. "What great news! This is an impressive success for all scientists involved in the CRC, but also for the university as a whole," emphasises Rector Prof. Johannes Wessels.

Münster (upm/kk)
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ERC Starting Grant for Manuel van Gemmeren

Münster University chemist receives €1.5m in funding from the European Research Council
© Manuel van Gemmeren

A great distinction for a chemist from the University of Münster: the European Research Council (ERC) has awarded Dr. Manuel van Gemmeren an ERC Starting Grant worth 1.5 million euros. The EU-funded research project that van Gemmeren will lead over the coming five years, belongs to the field of organic chemistry. Since 2016, the researcher and his working group at Münster University have been studying so-called C-H-functionalizations – chemical reactions by means of which C-H-bonds, which are typically non-reactive, can be converted directly into complex target structures. “Such methods are important for the development of sustainable chemical value chains, especially for the synthesis of complex organic compounds,” Manuel van Gemmeren explains. “These compounds can then be used as active agents for example in medicines,” he adds.

Münster (upm)
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Battery Research Centre: new international research school opened

9.5 million euros of funding from Ministry of Science for BACCARA Graduate School
© WWU - Peter Leßmann

Longer ranges for electric vehicles and the effective storage of electricity from renewable energies – these are research topics for the future which PhD students in Münster will be working on in a new international Graduate School. The research centre for “Battery Chemistry, Characterization, Analysis, Recycling and Application” (BACCARA for short) was officially opened on August 5 at the MEET Battery Research Centre at the University of Münster. It was set up with the participation of Münster University’s Department of Chemistry and Pharmacy and the Helmholtz Institute Münster – an outstation of the Jülich Research Centre. The state of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) is providing 9.5 million euros of funding for the school over five years.
“Promoting junior researchers will be decisive for the future success of battery research at Münster and is therefore especially important for the NRW government,” said Isabel Pfeiffer-Poensgen, NRW’s Minister of Culture and Science, as she presented the confirmation of funding at the MEET Battery Research Centre. “I very much hope that the BACCARA research school will be included in the CVs of many young researchers developing high-performance batteries of the future,” she added. She expressed her thanks to Prof. Martin Winter, the scientific director of the Battery Research Centre, Prof. Frank Glorius from the Institute of Organic Chemistry at the University of Münster, and the technical and commercial director of MEET, Dr. Falko Schappacher, who, she said, “have developed this project with a high degree of commitment.”

Münster (upm/kn)
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Münster University chemist admitted to "Leopoldina" Academy

Armido Studer is new member, joining around 1,600 scientists in the scholarly society
© AK Studer

A chemist at the University of Münster is awarded a great honour: the National Academy of Sciences, “Leopoldina”, recently appointed Prof. Armino Studer as a new member. In doing so, the Academy acknowledges his outstanding scientific achievements. “For me, it is a very special accolade to be part of the oldest society of scientific and medical scholars in German-speaking countries,” says Armido Studer.

Münster (upm/sr)
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Frank Glorius receives award for catalysis science

Expert committee selects the organic chemist of Münster University for the "2020 Mitsui Chemicals Catalysis Science Award"
© WWU - Peter Dziemba

For his work in the field of catalysis science, the chemist Prof. Frank Glorius from the University of Münster has received the "2020 Mitsui Chemicals Catalysis Science Award". The prize, endowed with 5 million yen (the equivalent of almost 41,000 euros), is awarded every two years to outstanding chemists under 47 years of age. This year's focus is sustainability, to highlight the social issues including plastic waste management to which the chemical industry could contribute.

Münster (upm/sr)
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Researchers solve a long-standing problem in organic chemistry

Chemists at the University of Münster develop a bioinspired strategy for the controlled synthesis of polyenes / Study published in "Science"
© Ryan Gilmour

They occur in nature, are reactive and play a role in many biological processes: polyenes. It is no wonder that chemists have for a long time been interested in efficiently constructing these compounds – not least in order to be able to use them for future biomedical applications. However, such designs are currently neither simple nor inexpensive and present organic chemists with major challenges. Scientists at the University of Münster headed by Prof. Ryan Gilmour have now found a bio-inspired solution to the problem: They succeeded in constructing complex polyenes such as retinoic acid from simple, geometrically well-defined alkene building blocks. To do this, the scientists used small molecules as "antennas" which they excited with light, thereby enabling difficult chemical reactions to proceed via a process known as “Energy Transfer Catalysis”.