Two Doctorates with distinction on the same day

30/09/2022
  David Kuß holding his certificate after the doctoral examination © David Kuß

PhD students Niklas Kinzel and David Kuß from Prof. Leitner's research group each passed their doctoral exams with distinction today. Two excellent final exams in one day are a rarity. We congratulate both of them on this excellent grade and wish them only the best in their future careers!

In his doctoral thesis entitled "First Row Transition Metal Complexes for Electrochemical Carbon Dioxide Activation", Niklas Kinzel investigated the influence of the metal centre on the reactivity of electrochemically reduced transition metal complexes towards carbon dioxide. Molecular metal complexes allow electrons from renewable energy sources to be used directly for the selective reduction of CO2, thus returning the C1 building block to the chemical value chain. His work shows how the electronic and geometric structures of the complexes change under electrochemical conditions and how this affects the binding as well as activation of the CO2 molecule.

In his dissertation "Catalytic Hydrogenation of Carbon Dioxide with Manganese Complexes", David Kuß dealt with the development of a catalytic system for the conversion of CO2 to methanol, which is interesting as a candidate for chemical downstream products and energy carriers. A mechanism of the reaction was postulated on the basis of computer-chemical calculations and checked against various experiments. This model allows a targeted variation of the catalyst structure to be rationally derived in order to increase the activity.