Visual Abstract


+++ 7.8.2023: New Article published in JACS +++

Happy to see this work published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society, opens an external URL in a new window, it has been a long journey! In collaboration with the groups of Evgeny Pidko, opens an external URL in a new window and Johannes Lercher, opens an external URL in a new window, we studied the structure of nanoscopic copper oxide clusters, hosted in zeolites, that are able to selectively convert methane into methanol. We obtained a quantitative description of the types of active metal-oxo clusters hosted in the microporous channels of highly active Cu-mordenite (CuMOR) materials. Theoretical assessment of the most stable structures, together with spectroscopic characterization, allowed the description at molecular level of two types of active clusters present in CuMOR materials, namely a monometallic Cu-oxo and a bimetallic Cu-(Al)-oxo cluster formed via reaction of exchanged Cu with extraframework Al.
This work shows how important is, for the activity of metal exchanged zeolite catalysts, the competition between different metal-oxo cationic structures, stoichiometries and locations within the framework. It also sheds light on the importance of reacting defects and extraframework Al species in zeolites. The results here will aid the synthesis of novel zeolite-based catalysts hosting metal-oxo ensembles with exceptional catalytic properties.

Svetlana Mintova (Präsidentin der FEZA) überreicht den Preis an Christian

© Mojca Opresnik/FEZA

FEZA PhD prize

Svetlana Mintova (Präsidentin der FEZA) überreicht den Preis an Christian

+++ 26.7.2023: Christian awarded the Best PhD Prize by the Federation of European Zeolite Associations +++

Our post-doc Christian, opens an external URL in a new window was given the prestigious “Best PhD Prize” at the 9th Conference of the Federation of European Zeolite Associations (FEZA) held in Portorož, Slovenia, from 3rd to 6th of July. The award is granted every three years for excellent publications, opens an external URL in a new window arising from PhD projects in the field of zeolite and porous material sciences, which Christian has written during and after his PhD stay at the University of Münster, Germany, under supervision of Hubert Koller, opens an external URL in a new window and Michael Hansen, opens an external URL in a new window. His work involves the investigation of catalytic sites in zeolites, specifically Brønsted acid sites and silanol defects, by using solid-state NMR techniques to uncover internal hydrogen bond interactions and therefore important structural and catalytic properties. As per custom at FEZA conferences, Christian was invited to give the very last talk about his research. He also contributed a well-received poster contribution from research of our group: The combination of metal oxides and zeolites to create tandem bifunctional catalysts for CO2/CO hydrogenation reactions to olefins. Congratulations!

News at the FEZA homepage, opens an external URL in a new window

[Translate to English:] In the Heurigen


+++ 27.06.2023: Trip to the Heurigen +++

Joint Team Building with Noelia Barrabes, opens an external URL in a new window and her group: We had a blast in the Heurigen, drinking white wine, eating treats, and enjoying the view over Vienna. Which was bitterly needed after taking the allegeded shorter route uphill through the vineyards, though the weather was perfect for this trip. A Must-Do for the Viennese in summer!

[Translate to English:] Maricruz giving a talk


+++ 14.06.2023: Maricruz the "Invited Young Scientist" +++

Maricruz was the “Invited Young Scientist” at the recent 27th International Symposium on Chemical Reaction Engineering (ISCRE 27) in Quebec City (Canada). She delivered a talk on single site catalysts hosted by zeolites, while meeting and having inspiring discussions with other chemical engineers from all around the world. Surely an honor to be invited to such an important gathering!

Nicole und Stelios im ALBA

© SS

Nicole und Stelios im ALBA

+++ 19.05.2023: Nicole and Stelios at ALBA +++

ALBA, round two: This time, Stelios and Nicole, together with Noelia Barrabés and her group, went to do some exciting (and exhausting) experiments at the ALBA synchrotron facility in Barcelona. So now there are a lot of EXAFS data to be analyzed back in Vienna.They also had a lot of fun eating calçots (Catalonian spring onions) like real Catalans.

Gruppenfoto im May 2023

© SS

Group photo May 2023

+++ 19.05.2023: Our group doubles in size +++

A whooping four new members joined the team in the span of two weeks: Nicole Müller is our newest PhD student and the first Austrian native on our floor. She will be doing research on transition metal-exchanged zeolites. José (from France) and Lilla (from Slovakia) are our new interns supervised by Christian and Stelios, respectively. Niko (from Austria) will be the first one to write a bachelor thesis under the supervision of Mireia. Welcome aboard!

+++ 03.03.2023: CADRE at 34. Deutsche Zeolith-Tagung +++

Christian giving a talk

© Valerie Toussaint

CADRE at DZT Vienna

The 34. Deutsche Zeolith-Tagung was held at the University of Vienna, so Maricruz and Christian attended to present their zeolite research (go figure!). Maricruz's invited plenary lecture about single-site transition metal catalysts hosted by zeolites was certainly one highlight of the conference. Christian presented recent research on the activity of tandem metal-oxide/zeolite catalysts as a poster, and, on the side, gave a talk about his core PhD results. With lots of discussions with all kinds of people in the porous materials community. Exciting stuff!

+++ 17.01.2023: New Paper in Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys. +++

Mireia and Maricruz assisted Noelia Barrabés' group and co-authored a new publication: "Structural evolution after oxidative pretreatment and CO oxidation of Au nanoclusters with different ligand shell composition: a view on the Au core", presenting results from the ALBA synchrotron last year. The article is published in the journal Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics, opens an external URL in a new window. Congratulations to everyone involved!


+++ 20.12.2022: Successfully Escaped +++

group photo at the escape room


Escape room

Another team building exercise just before Christmas: CADRE successfully solved the mysterious disappearance of author Rex Stephens with only seconds to spare. Thanks Escape Mission for providing awesome escape room experience!

+++ 11.10.2022: CADRE wins big! +++

[Translate to English:] CADRE wins Pub Quiz

© SS

Great success! In their first ever Pub Quiz in Johnny’s Pub, the CADRE team, under the cover of “Too Much Pressure”, made first place with a whopping 16 out 20 right answers. The prize vouchers were instantaneously invested into another round of beer, naturally. Cheers!

+++ 31.08.2022: Labs renovated +++

Katalyselabor während und nach der Renovierung

© CS


Neues Katalyselabor

Waiting pays off! Renovations are done, and our new Catalysis Lab at the Technikum is ready for moving in (Infrared Lab follows shortly after). Then we can investigate our catalysts under a lot of pressure. Pressures of CO, CO2, and H2, of course.


+++ 18.07.2022: Synchrotron Visit+++

[Translate to English:] Maricruz, Mireia, and Neolia at the Synchrotron


In July, Maricruz and Mireia, together with Dr. Noelia Barrabes from the Institute of Materials Chemistry, went to the ALBA Synchrotron in Cerdanyola del Vallès (Spain). They measure X-ray absorption of Au, Cu and Ni in catalytic materials in the NOTOS beamline. Very fruitful time with over 50 samples measured! Big thanks to Noelia for sharing her wisdom and expertise with us.