“If small bubbles quickly appear in one place in a glass of sparkling wine and move upwards in a row as if on a pearl necklace, what we are seeing is an “active centre”, which is able to speed up a reaction through its presence – in this case the physical formation of gas. There are centres like this in chemistry, too. They often have complex structures and are responsible for speeding up material conversions. What fascinates me here are the solid surfaces bearing these centres, what are known as catalysts. With my Inorganic Chemistry team in Kiel I would like to create, examine and learn to understand reaction accelerators like this in order to enhance them, for example, for use in the production of climate-neutral fuels.”
Malte Behrens, 43 years old, born in Kiel. Since September 2020: Professor of Inorganic Solid State Chemistry at Kiel University. Previously working group leader at Fritz Haber Institute of the Max Planck Society, Berlin, and Professor of Inorganic Chemistry at the University of Duisburg-Essen. 2006: Doctoral degree at Kiel University, 2013: Habilitation at Technische Universität Berlin.