Welcome to the Department of Physical Chemistry/Catalysis

At the department, we are working on the production and, above all, the characterization of new catalysts for a sustainable world. Our main focus is on the activation of simple C-H bonds. To this end, we use synthetic and spectroscopic techniques coupled with theoretical calculations and machine learning methods.

The adjacent video shows a C-H activation on propane and subsequent functionalization. It is based on current research results on the C-H activation of hydrocarbons.

You can find out more at http://doi.org/10.1002/cctc.202200854


Head of department:

Junior Professor Dr. rer. nat. Robert Geitner


+49 3677 69 3041

Faraday Building, Room 4010

Nadine Wolf


Nadine Wolf


+49 3677 69 3643

Helios Building Room 1107 (first floor)

Postal address:

Ilmenau University of Technology

PF 10 05 65

98684 Ilmenau

Visitor address:

Weimarer Str. 32 (Faraday building)

98693 Ilmenau

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Homogeneous catalysis is an essential part of the chemical industry and enables the targeted and efficient production of a wide range of basic and fine chemicals. Homogeneous catalysis is based on the homogeneous catalysts used, which are usually transition metal complexes or organometallic compounds. These special molecules are able to control chemical reactions and thus accelerate the formation of the desired products.

In order to enable the development of new catalysts, it is essential to understand the catalytic process so that targeted improvements can then be made. To this end, we in the Physical Chemistry department rely on in situ spectroscopy. With the help of various methods such as nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), infrared (IR) and Raman spectroscopy, it is possible to observe and thus understand the catalysts during their reaction. Based on the knowledge gained, we use methods of data analysis and machine learning to specifically discover new catalysts. We pay particular attention to the development of catalysts for the activation of C-H bonds in alkanes and polyolefins.

Nadine Wolf

Key publications

  • T. Schütt, I. Anufriev, P. Endres, S. Stumpf, I. Nischang, S. Höppener, S. Zechel, U. S. Schubert, R. Geitner, Polym. Chem, 2023, 14, 92-101.T. Huang, S. Kupfer, M. Richter, S. Gräfe, R . Geitner, ChemCatChem, 2022, 14, e202200854.O. Nolte, R. Geitner, I. Volodin, P. Rohland, M. Hager, U. S. Schubert, Adv. Sci., 2022, 9, 2200535.R. Geitner, T. Huang, S. Kupfer, S. Gräfe, F. Meirer, B. M. Weckhuysen, Catal. Sci. Technol., 2021, 11, 1626-1636.R. Geitner, A. Gurinov, T. Huang, S. Kupfer, S. Gräfe, B. M. Weckhuysen, Angew. Chem. Int. ed .2021, 60, 3422-3427.
  • A complete list of publications can be found here.
TU Ilmenau / Michael Reichel (ari)


The "Biotechnical Chemistry" course offers students a sound scientific and chemical education with a focus on chemical and biological systems. The Bachelor's and Master's degree courses teach scientific principles, methodological skills and professional qualifications. Great emphasis is placed on practical training and individual support for each student. The department offers basic lectures in the Bachelor's program and in-depth modules in the Master's program.