Unifying Systems in Catalysis (UniSysCat)
Sustainability needs catalysis research
“Anyone talking about energy and resource-friendly production today is talking about catalysis,” believes Professor Dr. Matthias Driess, Head of Organometallic Chemistry and Inorganic Materials at Technische Universität Berlin. He is one of three designated cluster spokespersons for the newly applied “UniSysCat” cluster within the German Excellence Strategy.
Catalysis is viewed as one of the key scientific and economic technologies in the transition to a more sustainable production and industry. “Individual catalytic processes are already clearly understood,” says Professor Dr. Arne Thomas, Head of Functional Materials at Technische Universität Berlin, also a designated spokesperson for UniSysCat: “However, our central scientific objective is to bring about a genuine paradigm shift in research: deciphering, generation, and control of reaction networks in chemical and biological catalysis – i.e., a full system of reactions.”
The experimental coupling of catalytic and non-catalytic processes to an overall system assumes a comprehensive understanding of all individual primary steps. “In this respect UniSysCat may build on the internationally recognized research and the extensive experimental and theoretical arsenal of methods for UniCat, which has been an excellence cluster at Technische Universität Berlin since 2007,” says Professor Dr. Peter Hildebrandt, the third designated spokesperson. He is Head of Physical Chemistry and Biophysical Chemistry at Technische Universität Berlin.
Systems targeted within the framework of UniSysCat include a variety of coupled catalytic and non-catalytic processes. The interaction of such processes in terms of space and time is extremely important for the sequence and control of the overall system. As a result, these coupling principles must first be decoded: for example, transfer - adjusted in terms of time and space - and activation of substrates, intermediates, and products, or cooperation between different catalytic centers.
The goal of UniSysCat is to further strengthen and expand catalysis as an outstanding research field in Berlin. The focus here is on promoting young scientists.