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Funding of basic research for green energy of the future

Establishing a research group between Seoul and Berlin

Professor Wonwoo Nam is an Einstein Visiting Fellow of the Einstein Foundation Berlin and has received the Alexander von Humboldt Research Award, which is linked to a research stay at Humboldt Universität zu Berlin (HU). Professor Wonwoo Nam is Distinguished Professor of Chemistry and Nanoscience at Ewha Womans University in Seoul, Korea. During his four-year research stay, he will work in the group of Prof. Dr. Kallol Ray at the Institute of Chemistry at HU. The funding will be used to establish a joint research group involving scientists from Ewha Womans University and Humboldt-Universität.

The project "Developing Green Catalytic Systems Utilizing Bioinspired Metal Catalysts" focuses on metalloenzymes. These special proteins contain transition metals such as iron or manganese and can therefore make oxygen reactive. Inspired by nature, the project is investigating how metalloenzymes can be used for artificial photosynthesis. This could, for example, make industrial processes more energy-efficient and improve sustainable energy production. The project is based at the Cluster of Excellence "Unifying Systems in Catalysis (UniSysCat)".

Professor Wonwoo Nam is known for his outstanding and fundamental contributions to bioinorganic chemistry, in particular the elucidation and imitation of fundamental bioinorganic catalytic processes. The results of the research project are groundbreaking for energy research and the conversion of small molecules, a very topical subject in chemistry.

Prof. Kallol Ray from the Institute of Chemistry believes that basic research in the field of "Dioxygen Chemistry: Dioxygen Formation-Activation-Catalysis" - bio-inspired metal-oxygen chemistry - is crucial for the development of green oxidation chemistry and green solar energy production. "This approach could provide a concrete solution to the global energy and environmental problems caused by constantly growing energy consumption and the constantly growing world population," says Prof. Ray.

The Alexander von Humboldt Foundation awards the Humboldt-Forschungspreis, which is endowed with 60,000 euros.

The Einstein Foundation supports scientists from abroad. As Einstein Visiting Fellows, top foreign scientists set up a working group with a Berlin host in order to carry out a joint research project through regular exchanges and visits.


Prof. Dr. Kallol Ray
Institut für Chemie der Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
Brook-Taylor Straße 2, 12489, Berlin

Phone: 030 20937385