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Metal-Organic Framework and Nanoparticle Catalysis

 
Dr. Neumann will join the Max-Planck-Institut für Kohlenforschung in June 2020.
 
We are interested in new mechanistic approaches towards cleaving strong bonds and achieving high selectivity for products that are liable to undergo further undesired reactions in catalytic reactions relevant for the synthesis of platform chemicals.

To that end, the group focuses on optimizing the cooperative action of multiple active sites to facilitate challenging reaction steps. In addition to the design of novel catalysts, we are interested in the development of ‘smart’ catalyst support materials that can take an active role in determining the outcome of chemical reactions. Much of the research focus is inspired by the need to access fuels and building-block chemicals from renewable materials in an efficient manner.

This independent research group is funded by the Max-Planck Society within the framework of the “Lise Meitner Excellence” program.
 
Up to date information about openings for undergraduate, PhD and postdoc positions in the group can be found at neumannlab.science and posted here.

Constanze Neumann

Dr. Constanze Neumann

since 2020
Head of an Independent Lise Meitner Research Group at the Max-Planck-Institut für Kohlenforschung, Mülheim an der Ruhr, Germany
2017-2020
Postdoctoral Research Associate at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, USA with Prof. Mircea Dincă
2016-2017
Postdoctoral Research Associate at Harvard University, Cambridge, USA with Prof. Tobias Ritter
2010-2016
Ph.D. Student at Harvard University, Cambridge, USA with Prof. Tobias Ritter Ph.D. Thesis: “Late-Stage Fluorination with 19F− and 18F− via Concerted Nucleophilic Aromatic Substitution”
2009-2010
MChem Part II Research at Oxford University, Oxford, UK with Prof. Timothy J. Donohoe. Thesis: “New Methodology for the Synthesis of Inthomycin A”
2006-2010
Studies of Chemistry at Oxford University, Oxford, UK
2013
DuBois Dissertation Completion Fellowship 2013/2014
2012
DuBois Dissertation Completion Fellowship 2012/2013
2010
Alfred Bader Fellowship 2010/2011
2009
Gibbs Prize for Excellence in Part IB
2008
Evonik Prize in Chemistry
2007
Christopher Cheetham Prize in Chemistry
2007-2009
Demyship at Magdalen College, Oxford
 

Research Topics

Catalysts with Unusual Selectivity

Catalysts with Unusual Selectivity

We are interested in the design of catalysts that reverse traditional definitions of reactivity by selectively transforming “less reactive” substrates in the presence of “more reactive” molecules.

Highly Pre-Organized Cooperative Catalysts

Highly Pre-Organized Cooperative Catalysts

 We are interested in the development of metal-organic framework (MOF)-based cooperative catalysts, where two or more catalysts interact with the same substrate to facilitate a challenging elementary step. While introducing multiple catalyst-substrate interactions has an obvious beneficial effect on the enthalpy of activation, the need for three or more molecules to be arranged in a particular orientation in the transition structure can render the entropic cost of cooperative catalysis forbidding. Using highly pre-organized catalysts, however, the entropic cost of aligning multiple catalytic centers is paid during synthesis, paving the way to highly efficient catalysis and molecular recognition of reaction substrates.

Synthesis and Stabilization of Alloy Nanoparticles

Synthesis and Stabilization of Alloy Nanoparticles

 All nanostructures are inherently thermodynamically unstable with respect to the bulk solid. But the kinetic stability that can be achieved with even very small nanoparticles given suitable support materials can make supported nanoparticles efficient and practical heterogeneous catalysts. Stability concerns are, however, exacerbated for alloy nanoparticles that are composed of metals with unfavorable mixing enthalpies. We are interested in the development of efficient strategies for the synthesis of this promising class of catalysts and their stabilization under forcing reaction conditions.

Smart Supports for Selective Reactions

Smart Supports for Selective Reactions

We are interested in the design of support materials that not only lead to long-lived highly active catalysts, but take an active role in controlling the outcome of a catalytic transformation. Given the ubiquitous nature of catalyst support materials in heterogeneous catalysis, the development of novel materials that enhance the intrinsic selectivity of the catalytically active material can impact a wide range of catalytic processes.