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Homogeneous Catalysis with Organometallic Compounds

Klaus-Richard Pörschke was group leader at the Max-Planck-Institut für Kohlenforschung until 2016. This web page documents the activities of his group.

Research areasare

  • coordination properties of metals and ligands
  • metal complexes with small molecules (ethyne, H2, etc)
  • structural dynamics of complexes
  • reaction mechanisms and
  • organometallic mesogenes (plastic crystals)
  • metal complexes for cancer therapy
  • cesium chemistry

Transition metals under focus are Ni, Pd, and Pt, which often are used in combination with main group metals compounds (Li, Mg, Al, Ge, Sn), and Co–Ir.



Klaus-Richard Pörschke

Prof. Dr. Klaus-Richard Pörschke

Habilitation at HHU Düsseldorf
Harvard University Faculty Fellow
Post-Doc at the Institute of Elementorganic Compounds in Moscow
Ph.D. at the University of Bochum
Studies at the University of Kansas/USA (M.S.)
Studies at the University of Bonn
Born in Duisburg/Germany
Otto Hahn Medal of the Max Planck Society
Member of the Advisory Board "Organometallics"

Research Topics

Organometallic Plastic Crystals
Organometallic Plastic Crystals

Organometallic Plastic Crystals

While plastic crystals (dynamically-orientationally disordered mesogens) are so far rare in organometallic chemistry, we discovered that formally five-coordinate ionic Ni(II) complexes [(π-allyl)NiL3]Y and neutral M(I) complexes (π-allyl)ML3 (M = Co, Rh, Ir) with L = PMe3, P(OMe)3, and other ligands undergo a phase transition from the ordered to a plastic phase. The plastic properties arise from mobility of the π-allyl group in the solid-state. For the ionic Ni compounds, besides motion of the anions Y, the cations appear to tumble on their site in the lattice, whereas the neutral M(I) complexes rotate about an axis. For recrystallization, some compounds require partial ordering in a glassy-crystalline state.

Cisplatin-related Metal Complexes
Cisplatin-related Metal Complexes

Cisplatin-related Metal Complexes

Among the most prominent anti-cancer drugs are cisplatin, carboplatin, and oxaliplatin. Therapy with these drugs is frequently associated with serious side-effects, and inherent or acquired platinum resistance is a major problem. Thus, there is an unabated need for remedy and probing new structures. We have studied parent bispidine (3,7-diazabicyclo[3.3.1]nonane, C7H14N2) and its derivatives, substituted at the remote 9-position, for usage as “carrier ligands” for Pt(II). The studies allow insight into parameters such as hydrogen-bonding, association, hydration, water solubility, and polarity of the complexes, relevant to cytostatic potency.


Cesium Chemistry
Cesium Chemistry

Cesium Chemistry

The cesium cation, Cs+, is the largest and least electrophilic singly charged metal ion. Isolation of Cs+ salts from aqueous solutions represents a problem in many areas, as there are (a) exploitation of cesium from minerals, (b) reprocessing of nuclear fuels and separation of the strong gamma emitter 137Cs, (c) decontamination of 137Cs containing waste solutions, and (d) preparation of 131/137Cs radioactive probes for a variety of applications. We have found that the fluorinated aryl boronate (FAB) anion [H2NB2(C6F5)6] allows for 100% selective and quantitative separation of Cs+ from any aqueous solution, affording insoluble Cs[H2NB2(C6F5)6]. The high specificity for Cs+ arises from the specific conformation of the anion which is exclusively present in Cs[H2NB2(C6F5)6]. Thereby, Cs+ is bonded to five anions in a 3D lattice, and the unprecedented coordination number CN = 16 is reached, allowing for enhanced stability of the lattice.




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