Scientific Background

The design of the potential energy landscape of electronically excited states in discrete metal complexes is of utmost importance for unveiling and exploiting the photophysics and photochemistry of this class of compounds. The SPP 2102 aims at the development of rational design concepts for new functional photoactive metal complexes. At the core of the programme is the fundamental understanding of photoinduced metal-centred processes and the dynamics of electronically excited states of metal complexes, including:

(i) development of molecular emitters and sensitizers based on abundant metals to replace rare and precious metal centres,
(ii) understanding and design of electronically excited states of metal complexes for potential applications in diagnostics, imaging, therapy, and molecule-based sensors,
(iii) development of conceptually new reactivity patterns of electronically excited metal complexes,
(iv) providing access to new substance classes based on highly reducing or oxidizing electronically excited metal complexes,
(v) development of photoinduced multielectron and multiproton processes and
(vi) understanding of dynamic environmental effects on the excited state properties of metal complexes in soft matrices.

In order to have coherent and focused projects, the PP will deal exclusively with the photophysics and photochemistry of molecular complexes of 3d-5d and 4f-5f metal centres. Metal-free molecules, compounds of the s- and p-block metals, nanoparticles, quantum dots, metal-organic frameworks, coordination polymers, and solid-state materials are excluded. The metal centre or the metal centres of a well-defined, molecular and discrete complex should participate in the primary optical processes, such as excitation, emission, electron transfer or bond activation.
This excludes photoisomerisation in the ligand sphere as the primary photoreaction. Photoinduced valence isomerism, light-induced spin-crossover (LIESST) and organic photoswitches are not part of this programme. Furthermore, the development of new organic radical-based reactions and their substrate scope through the use of photosensitisers and single-electron transfer will not be considered.
However, new metal complex-based photosensitisers with uncommon properties such as particularly high/low redox potentials, intrinsic catalytic activity or chirality for enantioselective photoreactions will be covered in this Priority Programme.
Photochemical water splitting (water oxidation and reduction) is explicitly excluded. Development and optimization of devices (such as dye-sensitized solar cells, light-emitting electrochemical cells, organic light-emitting diodes or sensors) is not the goal of this initiative. The programme will benefit from complementary new developments in the field of ultrafast spectroscopy (IR to X-ray energies) and from new theoretical developments. However, pure method development in those fields will not be a focus of this programme.

For scientific enquiries please contact the Priority Programme coordinator:

Prof. Dr. Katja Heinze
Department of Chemistry
Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz
phone: +49 6131 / 39-25886

Questions on the DFG proposal process can be directed to:
Dr. Daniel Pursche
phone: +49 228 885-2389

The call for the first 3-year funding period issued on June 19th, 2017 can be found here.