New Molecules for Innovative High-tech Materials

PR2020_036 KIT
Schematic representation of a sandwich compound with a bottom ring composed of various elements. (Graphics: KIT)

German Research Foundation Funds Professor Peter Roesky’s Work on Sandwich Compounds within a Reinhart Koselleck Project. Thanks to their special properties, rare earths are used in many high-tech products. Sandwich compounds are chemical molecules, whose properties still are largely unknown. The compounds consist of two ring struc-tures, between which a single metal atom is “trapped.” Simply speaking, the compounds look like minute sandwiches. To study whether the molecules may serve as a basis of innovative future materials, Professor Peter Roesky, Head of the Chair for Inorganic Functional Materials of the Institute of Inorganic Chemistry (AOC), and his team produce different types of these sandwich complexes at the laboratory. As metal atoms in the center of the compounds, the scientists use various elements from the rare earths group. The test molecules also differ in their ring structures. The rings consist of carbon and a variable proportion of other elements. Experiments are carried out with different ring sizes. Within the project, the re-searchers plan to systematically vary the size and structure of the rings in order to derive a structure-effect relationship. “We will study the influence of the structure of the sandwich compounds on their physical properties,” Roesky explains. “In particular, we will focus on magnetism and luminescence of the molecules.”

The German Research Foundation (DFG) funds this groundbreaking study with EUR 500,000 under a Reinhart Koselleck Project.

Further information here.