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Between Frustration and Cooperation: Cooperative reactivity within a New Silicon-Based Bond Activation Concept

Universität Regensburg

International Junior Research Group
in the Natural Sciences

Head:  Dr. Jonathan Bauer

Contact: jonathan.bauer@ur.de

Duration: 5 years

Affiliated Program within the Elite Network of Bavaria:

Elite Graduate Program "Advanced Synthesis and Catalysis"

Dr. Bauer´s research is located at the interface of fundamental and applied science and will focus on a new silicon-oxygen-based molecular scaffold to establish sustainable processes for providing basic feedstock materials.

Establishing fundamental concepts in order to pave the way for resource-saving technologies is a genuine purpose of natural sciences. The activation of inert molecules and their synthetic utilization is a major challenge in current chemical research. Activation and transformation of small molecules like dihydrogen, carbon dioxide, or ammonia, their synthetic use as building blocks for valuable products, and the development of robust catalyst systems for a hydrogen-based economy is an important task. Considering the abundance of silicon, the second most common element of the Earth`s crust, the design of a metal-free, silicon-based bond activation concept will definitely be a worthwhile and pioneering undertaking.

The challenge of the research proposal will be the linkage of two molecular units with complementary reactivity within a silicon-oxygen framework, in a way that both reactivity centers retain their chemical independence (frustration) but are still able to "communicate" with each other (cooperation). Theoretical aspects concerning structure, stereoelectronic properties, reactivity, cooperativity, and frustration as a function of different electronic and chemical influences on silicon centers will be studied as well as new methodological approaches in the synthesis of main group element compounds, with a focus on silicon chemistry. Another focus of the research program is dedicated to studying bond activation. It will be investigated whether these frustrated, zwitterionic compounds feature transition-metal-like chemical behavior and if they are able to activate small molecules or bonds in organic substrates, leading to new solutions for sustainable transformations.

Dr. Jonathan Bauer
Institute of Anorganic Chemistry
Chair of Anorganic Chemistry
Universität Regensburg
Universitätsstraße 31
93053 Regensburg

Further information

Funded by:
  • Bavarian State Ministry of Science and the Arts
  • Elite Network of Bavaria:
  • since February 1, 2018