Research Environment

The Graduate School of Chemistry offers a broad and interdisciplinary spectrum of research areas in all of the major subfields of chemistry, including research hosted in neighboring disciplines, biology and physics. The School comprises about 30 research groups within nine institutes, conducting vigorous research programs. Funding is obtained from numerous federal and industrial research institutions. Within the GSC-MS there are two principal research directions: The first area, molecular functional structures, addresses the relation between molecular orientation and function in chemical systems. Research activities comprise catalysis, the synthesis of new bioactive molecules and supramolecular aggregates, developing an understanding of their functional principles, and exploring and utilizing the concepts of molecular recognition. An important focus is the development of new methods for asymmetric synthesis, accompanied by appropriate computational techniques. Other activities in the life sciences area range from molecular biology and biophysical chemistry to medicinal chemistry. In the field of medicinal chemistry novel receptor agonists and antagonists are developed and relationships between structure and biological activity are investigated. Major areas in food chemistry are natural product analysis, bioactive food ingredients, flavor research, and mycotoxins.

The second research direction focuses on the development and optimization of new soft and solid state functional materials. The properties of solid materials are often determined by disorder phenomena which are studied with sophisticated spectroscopic and other physicochemical methods, including theoretical modeling. One of the central research topics is the design of new anode and electrolyte materials for high-energy materials (such as lithium ion batteries) and the detailed development of structure/function relationships. The agenda further includes new research activities in surface-active polymers, functionalization of polymers, polymeric layered materials and solid-state organic materials. In this context novel methods for surface structuring and chemical modification are being developed. Inspired by natural systems, functional molecular objects are generated using self-assembly, leading to hybrid systems with novel properties and functions. Synergetic effects in chemistry are intensively studied in the fields of chemistry, biochemistry and surface physics. Most experimentally oriented research activities are supported by theoretical chemistry.

Research conducted in these areas is financed by two collaborative research centers (“Synergetic Effects in Chemistry – From Additivity to Cooperativity” and “Multilevel Molecular Assemblies: Structure, Dynamic and Function”) which provide a well organized interdisciplinary infrastructure of research groups with modern laboratory equipment. In addition, two International Research Training Groups “Complex Functional Systems in Chemistry - Design, Development, and Applications” in collaboration with the University of Nagoya (Japan), and “Generation of Supramolecular Functional Cavities - Container Molecules, Macrocycles and Related Compounds” in collaboration with universities in The Netherlands, also contribute to the high standard of education offered to graduate students. Finally, numerous international collaborations complete our excellent research environment. The Chemistry department at the University of Münster belongs to the top rank of chemistry departments in Germany.

The following nine institutes of the Department of Chemistry and Pharmacy contribute to the Graduate School:

Institute of Biochemistry (BC)
Institute of Inorganic and Analytical Chemistry (AC)
Institute of Medicinal Chemistry (MC)
Institute of Organic Chemistry (OC)
Institute of Physical Chemistry (PC)
Institute of Food Chemistry (FC)
Institute of Business Management in Chemistry (BMC)
Physical Institute (PH)
Institute of Materials Physics (MP)


(Bio)molecular Science:
asymmetric synthesis
molecular biology
biomolecular macromolecules
natural products
selective synthesis
inorganic complexes and clusters
homogeneous catalysis
supramolecular chemistry
quantum-chemical modeling
environmental analysis
biotechnology
recognition phenomena and receptor ligands
bioinorganic chemistry


Solid State Materials:
fast ionic conductors and battery research
glasses and ceramics
magnetic, electronic and luminescent materials
solid state spectroscopy
heterogeneous catalysis
materials simulation
colloids and interfaces
energy storage and conversion
inorganic polymers and hybrid materials
polymer chemistry
surface chemistry
self-assembly
nano materials
structure and dynamics of surfaces