Which research topics are you focused on in your working group?
Main group elements such as silicon and aluminum are available in a more environmentally friendly and cost-effective way than many of the heavy and transition metals conventionally used in catalysis. We investigate the coordination chemistry of molecular complexes of the main group elements (mainly p-block). The aim is the stabilization of metal atoms with low coordination numbers and exceptional bonding conditions (e.g. metal-metal or metal-chalcogen multiple bonds). The complexes are subsequently to be used in bonding activation and catalysis. We also test the strongly basic or ambiphilic ligand systems used for their suitability as metal-free organocatalysts.
How is the schedule and content of a research internship designed at your working group?
A research internship within the framework of the study regulations comprises approximately four weeks of full-time work in the chair, which can, however, be distributed flexibly. The internship takes the form of blocks of several hours with synthesis work under the guidance of a supervisor in the laboratory. In special cases, a computer lab course can also be held that deals with the structural refinement of single-crystal X-ray diffraction data or DFT calculations to molecules. The content includes a selected or assigned sub-theme from the research area of my group.
Which synthetical methods are used for the respective topics?
The working method is very similar to the procedure in organic synthesis; the only difference is that most manipulations are carried out under inert gas. This is done using the Schlenk technique or a glovebox. The characterization of the compounds is mainly done by NMR spectroscopy; as in organic chemistry. In contrast to the classic organic synthesis with its frequent chromatographic processes, the purification of the products is mainly done by crystallization and precipitation methods due to the sensitivity to air.
Is a progress/final talk about the research internship planned?
A progress report or any other final presentation is not planned, but can be scheduled if desired.
With which working groups are overlapping topics possible?
Collaborations are underway with the group of Prof. Rieger (Silylene for binding activation), Prof. Fässler (Zintl cluster), Prof. Hintermann (organocatalysis), Prof. Gasteiger (electrochemistry of silyl radicals).
How and in what way can one apply for a research internship at your working group?
The application can be made directly with a potential supervisor (Ph.D. student or postdoc) or indirectly with me via the secretary’s office of the Chair of Silicon Chemistry by email or personally (laboratory area: CRC 4043-5, old building 62401-3; secretariat: old building 53423).
What kind of previous knowledge is required for a research internship at your working group?
The ability to perform classic organic syntheses; ideally with experience in Schlenk technique and working with the glovebox. For a computer internship, basic knowledge with programs of the SHELX family or Gaussian series should be existing.
Can a research intership be expanded to a master’s thesis?
Yes, subject to availability of space and a promising topic.
How much cake does your chair expect?
It is common to bring a cake at the beginning or end of your internship. However, this is not an obligation and is not expected.