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Functional Materials

Solid materials with a given functionality are of relevance for many fields in chemical research. Surface functionalities are of specific interest and determine the properties of materials for processes that proceed at the interface of a solid and a fluid. Typical processes are heterogeneously catalyzed reactions, adsorption processes, and electrochemical reactions. Crucial factor for efficient processes are high specific surface areas that can be realized either by generation of pores in a solid or by formation of nanoscopic particles.

Wolfgang N. Schmidt

Dr. Wolfgang N. Schmidt

since 2009
Group Leader at the Max-Planck-Institut für Kohlenforschung
Visiting Professor at the CNRS MADIREL, Marseille, France
Senior Scientist at the Max-Planck-Institut für Kohlenforschung
Scientist at the Johann-Wolfgang-Goethe Universität, Frankfurt
Scientist at the Johannes-Gutenberg-Universität, Mainz
PhD in Chemistry at the Johannes-Gutenberg-Universität, Mainz
Research Sojourn at the Boreskov-Institute of Catalysis, Novosibirsk, USSR
Chemistry Diplom
Born in Montabaur/Germany
since 2013
Editor in Chief of Microporous and Mesoporous Materials
Regional Editor of Microporous and Mesoporous Materials
since 2011
Member Editorial Board of Microporous and Mesoporous Materials
since 2009
Ombudsman of the Max-Planck-Institut für Kohlenforschung

D. Gu, C.-J. Jia, H. Bongard, B. Spliethoff, C. Weidenthaler, W. Schmidt, F. Schüth
Ordered mesoporous Cu-Ce-O catalysts for CO preferential oxidation in H2-rich gases: Influence of copper content and pretreatment conditions
Appl. Catal. B: Environmental 152–153 (2014) 11–18.


M. Castro, M. Haouas, F. Taulelle, I. Lim, E. Breynaert, G. Brabants, C. E. A. Kirschhock, W. Schmidt
Multidiagnostic analysis of silicate speciation in clear solutions/sols for zeolite synthesis
Micropor. Mesopor. Mater., online available 03 Sep 2013

U. Sager, W. Schmidt, F. Schmidt, Suhartiningsih
Catalytic reduction of nitrogen oxides via nanoscopic oxide catalysts within activated carbons at room temperature
Adsorption 19 (2013) 1027–1033.

W. Schmidt, F. Schüth, C. Weidenthaler
Diffraction and spectroscopy of porous solids
Vol. 5, Chapter 5.01 in: Comprehensive Inorganic Chemistry II, eds. Ken Poeppelmeier, Jan Reedijk, Elsevier 2013, p. 1–24.


H. Jiang, H. Bongard, W. Schmidt, F. Schüth
One-pot synthesis of mesoporous Cu-γ-Al2O3 as bifunctional catalyst for direct dimethyl ether synthesis
Micropor. Mesopor. Mater. 164 (2012) 3–8.

A. Dangwal Pandey, C.J. Jia, W. Schmidt, M. Leoni, M. Schwickardi, F. Schüth, C. Weidenthaler
Size-controlled synthesis and microstructure investigation of Co3O4 nanoparticles for low temperature CO oxidation
J. Phys. Chem. C 116 (2012) 19405−19412.

M. Reichinger, W. Schmidt, V.V. Narkhede, W. Zhang, H. Gies, W. Grünert
Ordered mesoporous materials with MFI structured microporous walls – synthesis and proof of wall microporosity
Microporous and Mesoporous Materials 164 (2012) 21–31.

W. Schmidt
Synthetic inorganic ion-exchange materials
in: Ion-exchange Technology: Theory, Materials and Applications
eds. Inamuddin and M. Luqman, Springer 2012, p. 277-298
    ISBN 978-94-007-1699-5

X. Gu, H. Tao, W. Schmidt, G. Lu, Y. Wang
One-pot synthesis of hollow aluminosilicate polyhedra with mesoporous shells
J. Mater. Chem. 22 (2012) 2473 – 2477.;
    http://dx.doi: 10.1039/C1JM13400K


M. Busch, U. Bergmann, U. Sager, W. Schmidt, F. Schmidt, C. Notthoff, B. Atakan, M. Winterer
Synthesis of active carbon-based catalysts by chemical vapor infiltration for nitrogen oxide conversion
J. Nanosci. Nanotechnol. 11 (2011) 7956 – 7961.; doi:10.1166/jnn.2011.5074

C.-J. Jia, M. Schwickardi, C. Weidenthaler, W. Schmidt, S. Korhonen, B.M. Weckhuysen, F. Schüth
Co3O4/SiO2 nanocomposite: A very active catalyst for CO oxidation with unusual catalytic behavior
J. Am. Chem. Soc. 133 (2011) 11279 – 11288.; doi: 10.1021/ja2028926

X. Gu, W. Zhu, C.-J. Jia, R. Zhao, W. Schmidt, Y. Wang
Synthesis and microwave absorbing properties of highly ordered mesoporous crystalline NiFe2O4
Chem. Commun., 47 (2011) 5337 – 5339.;doi: 10.1039/C0CC05800A

X. Gu, T. Jiang, H. Tao, S. Zhou, X. Liu, J. Ren, Y. Wang, G. Lu, W. Schmidt
Hydrothermally highly stable acidic mesoporous aluminosilicate spheres with radial channels
J. Mater. Chem. 21 (2011) 880 – 886.; doi: 10.1039/C0JM01973A


C.-J. Jia, Y. Liu, M. Schwickardi, C. Weidenthaler, B. Spliethoff, W. Schmidt, F. Schüth
Small gold particles supported on MgFe2O4 nanocrystals as novel active catalyst for CO oxidation
Applied Catalysis A: General 386 (2010) 94–100.; doi:10.1016/j.apcata.2010.07.036

W. Schmidt, P. Bussian, M. Lindén, H. Amenitsch, P. Agren, M. Tiemann, F. Schüth
Accessing ultrashort reaction times in particle formation with SAXS experiments: ZnS precipitation on the microsecond time scale
J. Am. Chem. Soc. 132 (2010) 6822–6826.; doi:10.1021/ja101519z

Y. Liu, H. Tüysüz, C. Jia, M. Schwickardi, R. Rinaldi, A.-H. Lu, W. Schmidt, F. Schüth
From glycerol to allyl alcohol: Iron oxide catalyzed dehydration and consecutive hydrogen transfer
Chem. Commun. 46 (2010) 1238 – 1240.; doi: 10.1039/b921648k;

M. Reichinger, W. Schmidt, M. W. E. van den Berg, A. Aerts, J. A. Martens, C.E.A. Kirschhock, H. Gies, W. Grünert
Alkene epoxidation with M41S materials assembled from TS-1 seeds – is there a hierarchical pore system ?
J. Catal. 269 (2010) 367–375.; doi:10.1016/j.jcat.2009.11.023

C.-J. Jia, Y. Liu, W. Schmidt, A.-H. Lu, F. Schüth
Small sized HZSM-5 zeolite as highly active catalyst for gas phase dehydration of glycerol to acrolein
J. Catal. 296 (2010) 71-79. doi:10.1016/j.jcat.2009.10.017


L. Karwacki, M.H.F. Kox, D.A.M. de Winter, M. Drury, J.D. Meeldijk, E. Stavitski, W. Schmidt, M. Mertens, A.W. Burton, S.I. Zones, P. Cubillas, N. John, A. Chan, S.R. Bare, M. Anderson, J. Kornatowski, B.M. Weckhuysen
Morphology dependent MFI-type zeolite intergrowth structures leading to distinct internal and outer surface molecular diffusion barriers
Nature Materials 8 (2009) 959-965.; doi: 10.1038/NMAT2530

W. Schmidt
Solid catalysts on the nanoscale: Design of complex morphologies and pore structures; ChemCatChem 1 (2009) 53–67.; doi: 10.1002/cctc.200900125

R. Palkovits, W. Schmidt, Y. Ilhan, A. Erdem-Şentalar, F. Schüth
Crosslinked TS-1 as stable catalyst for the Beckmann rearrangement of cyclohexanone oxime; Micropor. Mesopor. Mater. 117 (2009) 228–232.; doi: 10.1016/j.micromeso.2008.06.041

W. Schmidt
Calculation of XRD patterns of simulated FDU-15, CMK-5, and CMK-3 carbon structures
Microp. Mesop. Mater. 117 (2009) 372–379.; doi: 10.1016/j.micromeso.2008.07.020

W. Schmidt
Titanium-based nanoporous materials; in: Ordered Porous Solids, Eds.: V. Valtchev, S. Mintova and M. Tsapatsis, Elsevier, 2009, 51-75.


Research Topics

Zeolites and Related Molecular Sieves
Zeolites and Related Molecular Sieves

Zeolites and Related Molecular Sieves

Zeolites comprise a class of crystalline, microporous solids. They are mainly based on aluminosilicates, the structure of which are formed by corner-sharing SiO4 and AlO4 tetrahedra. Presence of three-valent aluminium in tetrahedral oxygen coordination results in negative framework charges that are compensated by extra-framework cations. The latter are generally exchangeable alkali or alkaline earth cations that are located in micropores (< 2nm) that are an inherent feature of zeolite structures. Replacement of the cations by protons results in acidic zeolites that are excellent catalysts for petrochemical processes and the production of fine chemicals. The pore size and geometry of a given zeolite limit the sizes of molecules that can enter the pore systems, making zeolites highly selective catalysts and efficient adsorbents.

Nanoporous Functional Materials
Nanoporous Functional Materials

Nanoporous Functional Materials

Solids with ordered mesopore arrangement can be synthesized either via soft- or hard-templating methods. Typical materials that are obtained via soft-templating are MCM-41 or SBA-15 silicas. Amorphous silica walls are condensed around hexagonally ordered arrays of soft micelles consisting of amphiphilic molecules. Removal of the organics results in silica with ordered mesopores (2-50 nm). Carbon deposition in the pores of such silica and removal of the solid silica is hard-templating. As the results either carbon rods (complete pore filling) or carbon tubes (only deposition of carbon layer on silica wall) are obtained. The image shows a typical electron density distribution through a section of an array of hexagonally arranged carbon tubes (CMK-5). It has been calculated from a low-angle XRD pattern via inverse Fourier Transformation of reflection intensities.

Adsorption and Diffusion in Nanoporous Materials
Adsorption and Diffusion in Nanoporous Materials

Adsorption and Diffusion in Nanoporous Materials

Adsorption and diffusion processes are strongly affected by the pore systems and surface properties of nanoporous materials. Physical adsorption on solids is determined by interaction of molecules in the fluid phase with a given surface. Pore geometries and surface functionalities are factors that can be modified in order to alter diffusive and/or adsorptive properties of a given material. Generation of hierarchical pore systems has been shown to generate catalysts with significantly improved performance as the result of enhanced diffusivity. Investigation of adsorptive and diffusive properties of nanoporous materials allows for a better understanding of the processes involved, which in turn allows design of optimized materials for catalytic and adsorptive applications.

High Surface Area Materials
High Surface Area Materials

High Surface Area Materials

High surface area materials serve as catalysts or supports for active species. There are typically synthesized via precipitation, sol-gel processing, or flame processes. “Exotemplating” is a versatile alternative, e.g., using porous carbon matrices as hard templates. The pores of the carbon matrix are filled with concentrated salt solution. Subsequent combustion of the carbon matrix converts the metal salt into the oxide. The particle size of the oxide is determined by the pore size of the carbon. High surface area oxides synthesized from activated carbon are typically obtained as fine powders or particles that adopt the shape of the parent carbon. Using carbon aerogel monoliths as exotemplate, alumina with remarkable textural properties (X-ray amorphous, surface area 300 m2/g, volume > 1.5 mL/g) can be synthesized.

Photocatalysis on Solid Catalysts
Photocatalysis on Solid Catalysts

Photocatalysis on Solid Catalysts

Irradiation of a semiconductor photocatalyst with light of appropriate wavelength results in the excitation of an electron from the valence band into the conduction band, leaving a positively charged hole in the valence band. This electron then can be transferred to an electron acceptor whereas an electron from a donor recombines with the hole in the valence band. In this manner, redox reaction can be catalyzed on the surfaces of semiconductors, such as for example TiO2 or ZnO. Combining semiconductor properties with specific steric arrangements within the pores of nanoporous solids appears a promising approach to tune the photocatalytic properties of such solids.


Research Reports



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