Freitag, 10. November 2017, 15:15 - 16:45 iCal

14. Erwin Schrödinger Kolloquium

"Selforganization in Catalytic Nanoparticles?"

Univ.-Prof. Dr. Helmut Tributsch

(FU Berlin & FH Kärnten, Biomimetics in Energy Systems)

Univerisität Wien, Chemische Institute, Hörsaal 4, Halbstock
Währinger Straße 42, 1090 Wien


After half a century of research on photosynthetic water splitting and after synthesis of numerous synthetic Mn4 complexes the biological model of the catalyst, functioning with the abundant transition metal manganese, is still unmatched.

How can four electrons be extracted from water with negligible overpotential, when already extraction of the first is highly energy consuming and yields a radical?

Mathematical modelling shows that this is possible via self-organization, which is characteristic for living matter: via feedback processes local order is generated and the first electron slaves the rest for an energy efficient collective electron transfer.

The problem towards artificially handling of selforganized catalysis is seen to be fundamental. It is rooted in our present, purely statistical, probabilistic concept of time towards increase of disorder.

How can such a probabilistic time arrow tell a nanoparticle, which itself is building up order, what is “before” and what “after” during feedback and selforganization? A strategy for overcoming this dilemma is presented.


Erwin Schrödinger Gesellschaft für Nanowissenschaften


Univ.-Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Kautek
Universität Wien
Institut für Physikalische Chemie
0043 664 60277 52470