Physical Organic Chemistry: Recent developments in instrumentation, structure, theory, and mechanisms

691. WE-Heraeus-Seminar

18 Feb - 21 Feb 2019


Physikzentrum Bad Honnef

Scientific organizers:

Prof. Dr. Christina M. Thiele, TU Darmstadt • Prof. Dr. Peter R. Schreiner, U Gießen

Physical organic chemistry aims at a better understanding of complex organic reactions or structures of organic compounds or catalysts thereby frequently using methods of physical chemistry. A special focus lies on relative chemical stabilities, the isolation and spectroscopy or spectrometry of reaction intermediates, transition states, selectivities, product distributions, non-covalent interactions, and solvation. Often, a series of measurements is performed on a set of similar compounds such that their reactivity and structures change systematically to determine trends in reactivity and structure. These changes are then correlated with the variation of functional groups and the properties and reactivities of new compounds can be predicted. These empirically derived “rules” are then collected in what is called the “mechanism” of the reaction that describes our current understanding of how reactions proceed. Physical-organic chemistry therefore defines the empirical backbone for modern synthesis and thrives on the combination of experiment and theory.

The enormous developments in physical hardware becoming available only recently allow for investigations that have not been possible before. The aim of the current seminar thus is to bring together scientist working in these quite diverse areas of physics and chemistry, such that the enormous potential of methods available today is presented and becomes more generally known. We expect that the exchange between scientists from different communities will lead to extremely stimulating discussions and that conceptionally new approaches will be identified.

The seminar focusses on the most recent developments in instrumentation, structure, theory, and mechanism:

  • Spectroscopic and spectrometric methods for the detection of reactive intermediates (especially including novel approaches in NMR-, IR and rotational spectroscopy as well as mass spectrometry)
  • Photochemistry (including photocatalysis and photoswitches)
  • Chirality and transfer of chirality (including novel multidimensional chromatographic separations, Coulomb-explosion, determination of absolute configurations, enantioselective catalysis and chiral amplification)
  • Reaction kinetics for the elucidation of reaction mechanisms (including high throughput methods, tunneling control, kinetic isotope effects, and matrix isolation)
  • Electron microscopy (especially also cryo electron microscopy)
  • Theoretical methods and computational chemistry (especially for the evaluation of spectra and the elucidation of reaction mechanisms)

The conference language will be English. The Wilhelm and Else Heraeus-Foundation bears the cost of full-board accommodation for all participants.