Fundamental research and the search for solutions for present environmental problems are the goals of the work performed by the researchers in the Chair for Inorganic and Analytical Chemistry.
Activation of small molecules
One research theme focuses on the mechanistic elucidation of chemical reactions at so called metal centres in transition metal complexes. The interest concerns the activation of small molecules such as oxygen, carbon dioxide and nitric oxide through the catalytic activity of metal complexes, as they also occur in nature. The biological activity and environmentally relevant behaviour of these metal complexes are at the centre of the interest. It is our goal to clarify the mechanistic details of the catalytic processes so that this knowledge can be used to tune and modify catalytic processes for environmentally improved processes.
Ionic liquids are ‘salts’ being liquid at room temperature and display remarkable features as solvent materials. In recent years, they have become a popular research area that is expected to grow as a result of their potential industrial application. Still a fundamental question does remain: Do ionic liquids really behave as ‘normal’ solvents, or are there unknown aspects that could affect the behavior of chemical reactions? Van Eldik and his team of chemists cover this field of interest with another research focus on inorganic reaction mechanisms in ionic liquids.
Platinum compounds for cancer treatment
Another research subject is the mechanistic investigation of biorelevant Pt(II) complexes. The chemists in Erlangen focus at derivatives of the so called Cisplatin, a platinum compound that has been used for cancer treatment for a long time. By specific variations of this fundamental structure and the investigation of the changed chemical behavior, they work on possibilities to tune the reactivity of these potentially antitumor active compounds.
New recycling processes
The development of analytical methods for on-line monitoring of potentially hazardous toxic substances is another research theme of the Chair. In this way, new environment friendly recycling processes are developed for electronic waste and cellular phones. A search for environmentally acceptable recycling methods for plastic wastes that include bromine containing flame retardants is presently a central goal of the ongoing work.