Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences - Department of Chemistry

Bioinorganic Chemistry and Heterogeneous Catalysis

Heterogeneous Catalysis

General aspects of heterogeneous catalysis: Importance and history of heterogeneously catalysed processes, action of catalysts (activity, selectivity), characteristics of heterogeneous and homogeneous catalysts.

The role of adsorption on solid surfaces: energetic aspects (physisorption/chemisorption – „volcano curves“, kinetics, thermodynamics and mechanism of adsorption processes, general mechanism in heterogeneous catalysis (Rideal-Eley, Langmuir-Hinhselwood).

Catalyst concepts: sterical aspects, electronical aspects (metals, semi-conducting metal oxides, insolating metal oxides, fluorides as catalysts) – oxidation catalysts, acid base catalysts (Brønsted/Lewis).

Mechanism of catalytic reactions on solid surfaces : Acid catalysed reactions (Brønsted/Lewis ) on metal oxide and metal fluoride surfaces, Oxidation reactions on metal oxide surfaces (mechanism, 18O-isotope exchange).

Chemical aspects of surface analysis by means of vacuum based methods : Fundamentals of selected spectroscopic surface sensitive methods (ESCA, SEM …), electron spectroscopic methods inclusive technical performances, applications of surface sensitive methods for the characterisation of solid catalysts.


J.M. Thomas, W.J. Thomas: "Principles and Practice of Heterogeneous Catalysis“ , VCH.
J. Hagen: "Heterogene Katalyse“ , VCH.
R. L. Augustine: "Heterogeneous Catalysis for the Synthetic Chemist“ , Marcel Dekker.
A. Bielanski, J. Haber: "Oxygen in Catalysis“, Marcel Dekker.
"Handbuch Festkörperanalyse mit Elektronen, Ionen und Röntgenstrahlung", Hrsg. O. Brümmer et al., Vieweg Verlag Wiesbaden.
"Handbook of Surface and Interface Analysis", Ed. J.C. Riviere &S. Myhra, Marcel Dekker.
J.W. Niemantsverdriet: "Spectroscopy in Catalysis", , VCH.


Bioinorganic Chemistry

The first part of the course deals with the principle methodologies in bioinorganic chemistry: The biological importance of metals is illustrated, biologically relevant ligands are presented and their properties described, important concepts are discussed and the nomenclature used to describe the structures of enzymes is explained. Moreover, the physical methods employed in investigations concerning metalloenzymes are introduced.

In the second part certain metalloenzymes are discussed in detail, and synthetic structural/functional molecular model complexes are presented. Especially the processes of transportation and activation of small molecules in natural systems are addressed. This includes dioxygen binding in heme/non-heme iron proteins and in copper enzymes as well as its conversion and usage in monoxygenases, peroxydases and oxydases. Other oxidoreductases like superoxiddismutases form topics, too. The process of nitrogen fixation by nitrogenases is outlined and compared with dinitrogen cleavage achieved by coordination compounds. Finally it is dealt with proteins whose function is based on lewis acidic metal centres like the carbic anhydrases, as well as the current mechanistic view concerning the functioning of the Photosystem II.

W. Kaim, B. Schwederski: "Bioanorganische Chemie", Teubner Studienbücher Chemie, Stuttgart, 1995.
R.M. Roat-Malone: "Bioinorganic Chemistry - A Short course", John Wiley & Sons, New Jersey, 2002.
S.J. Lippard, J.M. Berg: "Bioanorganische Chemie", Spektrum Akademischer Verlag, Heidelberg-Berlin-Oxford, 1995.
J.J.R. Fraústo da Silva, R.J.P. Williams: "The biological chemistry of the elements - The inorganic chemistry of life", Oxford University Press, New York, 2001.
I. Bertini, A. Sigel, H. Sigel: "Handbook on Metalloproteins", Marcel Dekker Inc., New York, 2001.
A. Messerschmidt, R. Huber, T. Poulos, K. Wieghardt: "Handbook of Metalloproteins", 2 Volumes, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., Chichester 2001.