Project A6: Heterometallic Rare-Earth/Transition Metal Complexes for Catalytic Applications

DFG Research Area: Molecular Chemistry

The aim of the project is to investigate heterometallic rare earth (Ln)/transition metal (TM)-containing complexes by employing multidentate mixed donor phosphine ligands or by the incorporation of rare earth elements into the bridgehead position of a tripodal ligand itself. The main goal is hereby to explore coordination complexes, in which the rare earth and the transition metal ion are in close proximity to each other. This will not only help to uncover and explore the nature of the Ln–TM interaction in detail, but will also lead to very interesting magnetic, photo-optical and catalytic properties of such compounds. In terms of magnetism, the combination of Ln and TM ion-based spin carriers is thought to suppress zero-field quantum tunneling mechanisms and improve the energy barrier for spin reversal. With respect to the application in homogeneous catalysis, a systematic study of the electronic interaction of Ln and TM ions within one coordination complex and the thereof resulting multi-metallic cooperativity will be key to this project in order to find well-performing catalytic systems. Of major interest will be catalytic hydrofunctionalization reactions in the liquid phase. Hereby, a special emphasis will be laid on uncovering structure-activity relationships and the investigation of the stability and recyclability of the catalytic materials with respect to a sustainable catalyst design.

Project leader: 
JProf. Dr. Schirin Hanf (KIT)