Photo-Electro Catalysis (PEC)

Chemical reactions occur when the total energy of the resulting products is lower than that of the starting materials. This is traditionally achieved through the use of high-energy reagents which, in addition to the desired synthesis of valuable products (e.g. biofuels, pharmaceuticals), produce low-energy by-products that have to be disposed of as waste. PEC (Photo-Electro Catalysis: chemical catalysis with photonic or electrical energy input) develops alternatives in which the auxiliary materials are replaced by light or electrical energy.

The International Doctorate Program at a glance

Duration of studythree years
Place of studyRegensburg, Munich
Admission requirementsMaster's degree in chemistry or similar fields. Fast track candidates can also apply.
Application deadlinecontinuous
HeadProf. Dr. Oliver Reiser
CoordinatorDr. Anja Stromeck-Faderl
Contact the coordinator
Further informationWebsite "Photo-Electro Catalysis"

New routes for energetically unfavorable reactions

The International Doctoral College "Photo-Electro Catalysis (PEC)" funded by the Elite Network of Bavaria qualifies doctoral students to carry out research projects that are innovative in terms of content and methodologically state-of-the-art within the paradigm of using light and electricity for energetically unfavorable chemical syntheses. Chemical reactions require energy to take place. Starting molecules with a high chemical energy content are converted into low-energy products.

Typical in syntheses is the linking of an energy-consuming target reaction with an energy-yielding side reaction using high-energy, ecologically, and economically suboptimal reagents, whereby "used" molecules must be disposed of as waste since they can usually not be recycled or only with very high energy input. In PEC, chemical processes are developed that use light and electrical energy to bring reactants into an activated state that obviates high-energy reagents.

Portrait picture of Prof. Dr. Oliver Reiser

The structure of an international doctoral college with academic and industrial partners offers optimal conditions to meet the challenges for the urgently needed reorientation of chemical syntheses.

Prof. Dr. Oliver Reiser

Application-oriented basic research

The International Doctoral College "Photo-Electro Catalysis" is characterized by basic research projects with a clear vision for application-oriented questions that are of outstanding importance for the energy transition of the chemical industry. This is achieved through the integration of industrial mentors from top companies in the chemical industry, who support doctoral students in their research projects. Academic and industrial cooperation partners in Germany and abroad offer the opportunity for research stays within the framework of cooperation. The college optimally prepares doctoral students for the change in synthetic chemistry toward energy-efficient and resource-saving methods.