Module Leader:
Dávid Komáromy
2020-2021 Spring
Immersion 2
Natural Sciences

Society needs more and more new materials, such as drugs, fertilizers, fuels etc. The synthesis of these materials is the chemist’s task. Chemists dream about reactions, which are highly selective and “green”, i.e. proceed with 100 % yield without little to no by-products. Such reactions belonged to the realm of fairy tales – before the advent of catalysis. This module offers an introduction into the molecular basis of catalysis and the most prominent catalytic processess occurring in nature and industry.
We first get familiarized with the concept of catalytic cycle and the required background from reaction kinetics and thermodynamics. Subsequently, the basics of molecular orbital theory are covered in order to better understand the nature of metal-carbon bonds. With these theoretical tools in hand, we dive into the field of heterogeneous and homogeneous catalysis, with a special emphasis on organometallics-catalyzed reactions.
The class activity consists of joint problem solving based on the readings. Moreover, students will have the opportunity to develop their critical skills through joint reading and debate about scientific literature in catalysis. The module is recommended for students interested in engineering as well as chemical, biochemical and material sciences.