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Ligand Design for Nitrogen Activation


Nitrogen plays a vital role in the production of sufficient crops to feed a growing global population. While atmospheric nitrogen cannot be directly assimilated by plants, bacteria can fix nitrogen under mild conditions to provide bio-available ammonia. In contrast, industrially ammonia is produced under harsh conditions in the Haber Bosch process, which is energy intensive and accompanied by massive emissions of CO2. Therefore, this project seeks to explore more sustainable pathways of dinitrogen activation and its subsequent functionalization. The utilization of renewable N2 is also in line with the “Resource-efficient Europe” flagship initiatives to optimize the use of materials in order to lower the environmental impact.
Systems capable of dinitrogen activation in homogenous solution usually build on highly reduced transition metal complexes. In the proposed studies a novel class of polydendate ligands incorporating phosphaalkenes as a design feature will be synthesized to provide a potent platform for further functionalization. The experienced researcher will utilize these ligands as a donor to stabilize low-valent, highly reactive complexes of the bio-relevant metals molybdenum and vanadium. In a last step these systems will be tested in the activation of dinitrogen and their electronic structure will be comprehensively characterized, in a collaborative manner within the host institute, providing the applicant with high-quality technical training.
The project links various sub-disciplines of chemistry and is therefore clearly interdisciplinary, combining the applicants experience in inorganic chemistry with the host-institute’s leadership in catalysis. It is therefore expected that the proposed studies represent an opportunity for the experienced researcher to acquire new skills in the design of ligands for novel complexes capable of nitrogen activation, which is expected to further sharpen the researcher's profile and to benefit his future career.


Net EU contribution
€ 171 460,80
Albert-einstein-strasse 29a
18059 Rostock

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Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Landkreis Rostock
Activity type
Research Organisations
Other funding
€ 0,00