Welcome to "4f for Future"

Welcome to the website of the Collaborative Research Centre (CRC) 1573 "4f for Future". CRC 1573 is funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) and has officially been launched on January 1st, 2023, cf. press releases from DFG and KIT. It is coordinated by Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), its partners are the University of Marburg (UMR), LMU Munich (LMU), and the University of Tübingen (UTÜ). 

Materials based on rare-earth metals and their compounds are of crucial importance to our modern high-tech society. Surprisingly, the molecular chemistry of these elements is poorly developed. However, recent progress in this area has shown that this is going to change: In the past years, dynamic developments in the chemistry and physics of molecular rare earth compounds have shifted borders and paradigms that existed for decades.

The chemistry of molecular and nanoscaled rare-earth compounds and their physical properties are in the focus of our CRC “4f for Future”. Its researchers will study synthesis paths and physical properties of new molecular and nanoscaled rare-earth compounds in order to develop materials with unprecedented optical and magnetic properties. 

Find out more about the individual research projects here.


Latest CRC News 

Young female researchers of CRC 1573 CRC 1573
Dr. Ping Yang visits our CRC

On Sept. 13, 2023, Dr. Ping Yang (Deputy Director of the G.T. Seaborg Institute for Transactinium Science at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), USA) was our guest, following an invitation by project leader Dr. Tonya Vitova

Dr. Ping Yang gave a great presentation on "Data-driven Separation Design for f-Elements". Following the talk there was an intensive career-path discussion of young international female CRC researchers with Dr. Ping Yang who also provided valuable details, e.g., on the Seaborg Postdoctoral or Summer Fellowship program of LANL



The new molecular structure in which sandwich complexes form a nano-sized ring is called ‘cyclocene' Nature / AOC, KIT
Nanorings: New Building Blocks for Chemistry

Sandwich compounds are special chemical compounds used as basic building blocks in organometallic chemistry. So far, their structure has always been linear. Recently, "4f for Future" researchers were the first to make stacked sandwich complexes form a nano-sized ring. Physical and other properties of these cyclocene structures will now be further investigated. The researchers report their findings in Nature

“These compounds are among the most important complexes used in modern organometallic chemistry,” says CRC 1573 speaker Prof. Peter Roesky (AOC, KIT); "we have now succeeded in forming nano-sized rings for the first time,” Prof. Manfred Kappes (IPC, KIT), and Prof. Florian Weigend (U Marburg) explain. The new nanoring, called ‘cyclocene’ by the researchers, consists of 18 building blocks and has an outer diameter of 3.8 nm. 

official KIT press release
Prof. Roesky (left) with the two guests Prof. Junk and Prof. Mashima (right) CRC 1573
CRC Mini-Symposium at AOC, KIT

On June 30, 2023, Professors Peter C. Junk (James Cook University, Townsville QLD, Australia) and Kazushi Mashima (Osaka University, Japan) visited us at KIT. They presented very interesting results to the CRC audience regarding recent developments in redox transmetallation chemistry involving RE metals and organosilicon compounds for salt-free reduction of metal compounds, respectively. 

 "Tag der offenen Tuer" at KIT 2023 KIT
"4f for Future" presents itself at KIT's Open Day

After a four-year break due to the pandemic, KIT was able to welcome 25,000 visitors again at its Open Day on June 17, 2023. Embedded in the framework of the EFFEKTE Science Festival, excellent science was presented to the public by guided tours, lectures, and lots of hands-on activities, also for children and young people. 

Our CRC presented itself and its activities in the framework of the KIT Center Materials in Technical and Life Sciences (MaTeLiS), and Dr. Tonya Vitova and her group participated with three spectroscopic experiments specifically addressing kids (cf. summary) with a lot of fun and enthusiasm. 

Dr. Sun
Dr. Xiaofei Sun received the Südwestmetall Award

Our IRTG manager Dr. Xiaofei Sun received the Südwestmetall Award for her thesis on the "Reactivity of low-valent group 14 species toward main group element, transition metal and lanthanide compounds" from the hands of Südwestmetall's chairman Dr. Joachim Schulz (right) in April 2023. The Baden-Württemberg employers' association of the metal and electrical industry honored the outstanding achievements of nine early-career researchers with particular significance for the industrial working world and its sociopolitical framework. 





Invited guest speakers of CRC 1573 at KITCRC 1573
Mini-Symposium on 4f-Elements

Professors Stephen T. Liddle (Head of Inorganic Chemistry, The University of Manchester/UK) and Grégory Nocton (CNRS, Laboratoire de Chimie Moléculaire, École polytechnique, Palaiseau/F) were invited guests of our CRC on April 25 & 26, 2023 at KIT, giving highly interesting presentations on "Recent Advances in Actinide Chemistry" and "Organo-f-Elements Complexes", respectively. The photo shows both speakers with their host Prof. Peter Roesky (from left to right). 



group photo of participants at KIT CRC 1573
Spring Seminar Days held at KIT

With more than 30 doctoral and post-doctoral researchers avidly participating, the first Spring Seminar Days of CRC 1573, chaired by project leaders Prof. Dr. Peter Roesky (KIT) and Prof. Dr. Florian Weigend (U Marburg), provided a very successful kick-off to the Integrated Research Training Group. 

CRC 1573 logo
CRC Spring Seminar Days 2023

This year's Spring Seminar Days for doctoral researchers in CRC 1573 will be held at KIT on March 20 & 21, 2023. Please find the tentative agenda here

FAIR4CHEM Award 2023 Laureates nfdi4chem
FAIR4Chem-Award 2023 for PI Lena Daumann

Our project leader Prof. Dr. Lena Daumann (Ludwig Maximilians-Universität München) received a FAIR4Chem Award 2023. The FAIR4Chem Award 2023 aims to encourage chemists to make their research data openly available to the chemical community according to FAIR principles. 

Group photo of CRC kick-off participants at KIT AOC, KIT
Kick-off Meeting at KIT

The kick-off meeting of CRC 1573 was held at KIT on January 23, 2023. 

Information on CRC 1573


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Participating Institutions

Logos of participating institutions


Der Sonderforschungsbereich SFB 1573 "4f for Future" befasst sich mit der Chemie molekularer und nanoskaliger Verbindungen der Seltenen Erden sowie ihren physikalischen Eigenschaften. 

Diese Webseite ist nur in englischer Sprache verfügbar. Für deutschsprachige Informationen wenden Sie sich bitte an webmaster∂sfb1573.kit.edu.