Kekulé Fellowship by the Fonds of the Chemical Industry awarded to Anna-Lena Thömmes

Congratulations to @ALThoemmes, the carnival enthusiast @scheschkewitz group, for the award of a Kekulé Fellowship by the Fonds of the Chemical Industry @chemieverband. Well done, Anna-Lena!

She will be continuing her research on Ge=Ge polymers https//:


Alexander von Humboldt-Postdoctoral Fellowship awarded to Nasrina Parvin

Congratulations to Nasrina Parvin from the group of Shabana Khan at IISER Pune on the award of a Postdoctoral Fellowship by the Alexander von Humboldt-Foundation. She will be carrying out research in our group on novel silicon heterocycles starting next year. We are looking forward to welcome Nasrina in Saarbrücken.


Saarbrücken chemists develop Germanium-variety of industrially important synthetic process

Olefin metathesis is a chemical process for the formation of carbon-carbon double bonds (C=C) that predominantly finds application in the petrochemical industry, in polymer synthesis and in the manufacture of pharmaceuticals. Up until now, this metathesis reaction was limited to alkenes (olefins) with C=C bonds. Chemists at Saarland University have now developed a means of getting double bonds of the element germanium to undergo a metathesis reaction. The study has recently been published in the highly respected journal Nature Chemistry.

The formation of double bonds between two carbon atoms (C=C) is of central significance in natural organisms. The vast majority of natural substances therefore contain one or more of these double bonds. Compounds with C=C double bonds, the alkenes or olefins, also play a prominent role in the organic chemical industry. A great many chemical processes have therefore been developed over the years to control the formation of C=C bonds.

One such process, olefin metathesis, has received particular attention over the last few decades and the 2005 Nobel Prize for Chemistry was awarded in recognition of its significance.

Despite the many parallels between carbon and the heavier members of the carbon group (Group 14) of the periodic table, olefin metathesis was only of practical significance when compounds containing C=C bonds were involved. This seems somewhat surprising given the fact that double bonds between the heavier elements of the carbon group are considerably weaker than a C=C bond and are thus more easily cleaved. 

David Scheschkewitz, Professor of Inorganic and General Chemistry at Saarland University, Lukas Klemmer and Anna-Lena Thömmes from his research group and Volker Huch and Bernd Morgenstern from the X-ray Diffraction Service Centre have developed and characterized a new class of germanium-based heavier alkene analogues whose Ge=Ge bond exhibits just the right degree of stability to participate in synthetically useful metathesis reactions.

The Scheschkewitz group employed the new methodology to synthesize the first long-chain polymers containing double bonds between heavier elements. In the near future, the researchers hope to extend the concept to other elements of the periodic table, which could be of potential use in developing novel materials for applications in the field of organic electronics. ‘The underlying principle is simple and could also be applied in organic chemistry,’ explains Professor Scheschkewitz.

Potentially, this could also provide a means of carrying out olefin metathesis reactions without the precious-metal catalysts needed in the traditional approach.

Further information:

Prof. Dr. David Scheschkewitz
Tel.: +49 (0)681 302-71641
Scheschkewitz group website:
Email: scheschkewitz(at)

The article ‘Metathesis of Ge=Ge Double Bonds’ is available here (DOI):


Showcasing collaborative research from the group of Prof. David Scheschkewitz and BASF SE.

Back cover in Dalton Transactions resulting from a fantastic collaboration with @KingaLesSaar and @BASF

showcasing the power of the flexible coordination of Cp*. Well done everyone.

Backcover Dalton Transactions

A mixed heavier Si=Ge analogue of a vinyl anion

Check out the elegant synthesis of "A mixed heavier Si=Ge analogue of a vinyl anion" developped by @DrPKMajhi

who has been supported by @AvHStiftung and is now a @MSCActions fellow in our lab.

The thoroughly updated 2nd Edition of Ralf Steudel’s „Chemistry of the Non-Metals” has appeared

This 2nd Edition resulted from the cooperation of Prof. Dr. Ralf Steudel and Prof. Scheschkewitz.