Hybrid Materials and Green Chemistry

The group "Hybrid Materials and Green Chemistry" is mainly concerned with the production of materials made up both of organic and inorganic components for applications in material science and analytical chemistry. A special focus is on chiral stationary phases (CSP) for enantiomer separation, based on silica gel as the carrier matrix and different polysaccharide derivatives as chiral selectors. Further key aspects are the development of sustainable and resource-saving reactions and processes and the molecular mechanisms of ageing processes of lignocellulosic materials.

The research activities include organic-chemical modification of cellulose and other polysaccharides in different reaction media and the related comprehensive structural and physico-chemical characterization of the obtained polysaccharide derivatives with analytical methods available at the institute and in close cooperation with the other research groups. These include liquid and solid state NMR, UV/Vis spectroscopy, infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), liquid chromatography (HPLC), size exclusion chromatography (SEC) coupled with multiple detectors as well as electron microscopy (SEM) and elemental analysis. The produced biopolymer derivatives are deposited either physically or chemically on spherical silica gel, for which different strategies and techniques are developed. The resulting hybrid materials are evaluated with respect to their enantioselectivity using liquid chromatographic methods, which are complemented by studies of the underlying molecular recognition mechanisms (e.g. by NMR spectroscopy).

In addition to biopolymer derivatives and organic/inorganic hybrid materials, the group is engaged in the chemistry of ageing of lignocellulosic materials - especially with regard to chromophores formation mechanisms. In close collaboration with the other research groups of the institute, research areas of mutual interest are adressed, in which mainly organic-chemical aspects are covered. This includes topics of lignin chemistry, the synthesis of isotope-labeled compounds and reactions with "green chemistry" background.