Groundbreaking experimental Research on reactive Silicon Compounds

Thursday, 06. October 2011

Yesterday, Prof. Dr. Matthias Driess has received the Wacker Silicone Award 2011

Prof. Matthias Driess, Chair of the cluster of Excellence UniCat

Matthias Driess

Wacker Silicone Award Ceremony

Matthias Driess

All photos: Wacker Chemie AG

Dr. Matthias Driess, Professor of Organometallic and Inorganic Chemistry at the Technische Universität Berlin and Chair of UniCat, and was honoured with the 2011 WACKER Silicone Award including 10,000 euros prize money on October 5th in Munich.

Prof. Driess won the award due to his pioneering work on low-valent silicon compounds, which - owing to their isolability and reactivity properties - now constitute promising building blocks in organosilicon chemistry. Along with the Kipping Award, the WACKER Silicone Award is the most prestigious international honor in silicon chemistry.

Prof. Driess is Chair of the Berlin Cluster of Excellence „Unifying Concepts in Catalysis“ (UniCat). He received the award for his outstanding achievements in the field of organosilicon chemistry. "Prof. Driess' pioneering work in the field of silicon-phosphorus compounds and silylenes, which represent promising synthetic building blocks in organosilicon chemistry, has been trailblazing," said Dr. Rudolf Staudigl, WACKER's President & CEO.

Prof. Driess has researched a broad array of topics. His scientific pursuits range from photocatalytic water splitting to innovative silicon compounds. One of his primary fields of research concerns fundamental work on the chemistry of low-valent silicon compounds, such as the silicon analogues of nitrogen-heterocyclic carbenes. His clever modification of the heterocyclic scaffold allowed Prof. Driess to give silylenes a zwitterionic character. As a result, they show a changed reaction behaviour and permit a wide range of reactions with both electrophilic and nucleophilic reagents.

Matthias Driess studied chemistry at the University of Heidelberg, Germany. In 1988, he obtained his doctorate in the lab group of Prof. Walter Siebert. After spending one year in Madison, Wisconsin (USA), as a postdoc under the tutelage of Prof. Robert West Prof. Driess received his habilitation in 1993 with his postdoctoral thesis "Silicon and Phosphorus in Unusual Coordination". Three years later, he was appointed to the chair of Inorganic Chemistry at the Ruhr-Universität Bochum. Prof. Driess has been professor of Organometallic and Inorganic Chemistry at the Technical University of Berlin since July 2004.

Prof. Driess has received a variety of honours and awards for his research and work as university lecturer. In 1997, he received the Chemistry Award of the Akademie der Wissenschaften zu Göttingen. Prof. Driess won the Otto Klung Award in 2000 for his work on metal-rich clusters and their bonding characteristics. Last year, he received the renowned Alfred Stock Memorial Award for his work in the field of divalent silicon and the synthesis of nanoscale solids.

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