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Department of Chemistry Greta Patzke

Targeted Synthesis of Inorganic Materials

We cover a wide range of preparative and analytical techniques for the characterization and targeted design of functional molecular and heterogeneous materials. Two threads connect them: First, they all serve to address current environmental and health challenges. Second, we mainly focus on the study of low-cost 3d transition metals when designing active centers of our materials.

The main focus of our energy materials research is water splitting (artificial photosynthesis). Our goal is to bridge the fields of molecular and solid-state catalysis - through identifying and understanding overarching design principles and mechanistic pathways. We complement this by exploring the formation mechanisms of molecules and solids as an essential part of their controlled design.

(Chem. Soc. Rev. 2017, 46, 6124; Chem. Soc. Rev., 2021,50, 2444-2485.)

  • Heterogeneous Water Splitting Catalysts

    Our comprehensive research on transition metal-based catalysts for water splitting starts from insight into their formation processes, explores new materials and focuses on understanding their mechanisms.

  • Structure/Property-Activity: Green Catalysts

    We study challenging catalyst types with unknown structure motifs and disordered features. X-ray absorption spectroscopy is a key tool to unravel their property-activity relations.

  • Molecular Water Oxidation Catalysts

    We develop bio-inspired small oxo clusters of transition metals. Their additional features of oxide surfaces are excellent to explore both formation pathways and catalytic mechanisms.

  • Photoelectrodes

    We aim to elucidate and to understand the versatile roles of surface states in photoanodes for water oxidation. Their improvement through molecular co-catalysts goes hand in hand with our molecular catalyst research.

  • Bio-Medical Properties of Polyoxometalates

    We explore the vast bio-medical properties of POMs and their nanocomposites with natural polymers. Aiming for new insight into their cellular pathways.

  • Solar Thermochemical Materials

    In collaboration with the group of Prof. Aldo Steinfeld (ETH Zurich), we synthesize and investigate new oxide materials for two-step solar thermochemical redox processes.