Summer School 2016
Physical Methods in Molecular and Heterogeneous Catalysis
September 18th - September 25th 2016

The synergy of electronic structure theory and spectroscopic methods is transforming modern chemistry, enabling cutting-edge research across all fields of molecular science. Our highly successful series of summer schools on Molecular Theory and Spectroscopy has specifically addressed the connection between spectroscopic techniques and quantum chemical methods for the study of molecular systems. This unified approach will be again central in the 2016 edition of our summer school. This year, however, we also expand the content of our program in an effort to bridge the historic divide between homogeneous and heterogeneous catalysis.

In the 4th edition of our summer school, which is scheduled for September 18th to 25th 2016 at the Science Park (Wissenschaftspark) of Gelsenkirchen, Germany, experts from the molecular and the heterogeneous areas of catalysis research will teach on physical methods that are used for the study and characterization of both molecular and heterogeneous systems. By combining these historically distinct areas under a single program, we aim to help the students develop an appreciation of the common physical principles and to encourage a unified view of analytical methods in catalysis.

Intended audience

The school brings together an unusually broad coverage of topics and is addressed to graduate students, post-doctoral scientists and researchers who want to acquire a wider perspective and a deeper insight on physical principles and analytical methods that encompass both molecular and heterogeneous approaches to catalytic transformations. A special focal point of the school relates to theoretical methods and their use in the prediction of spectroscopic observables and in understanding the local electronic structure of chemical complexes and materials.


The summer school will consist of lectures by top researchers on various types of physical methods such as spectroscopy (EPR, optical, IR/Raman, XAS/XES, Mössbauer), electrochemistry and electron microscopy, as well as on introductory aspects of theoretical chemistry, ligand field theory, magnetism, photocatalysis, kinetics and reactivity. Lectures will be followed by practical sessions with computational exercises. Depending on individual interests, the participants may choose to attend optional special interest lectures on selected advanced topics of spectroscopic or computational techniques. A poster session will give the opportunity to discuss current research with the lecturers and other participants in the context of the summer school.

Keynote lectures

We are delighted to announce that Prof. Anders Nilsson (University of Stockholm) will deliver the keynote lecture at the opening of the 2016 summer school.


The summer school is organized by Dimitrios A. Pantazis, Serena DeBeer and Eckhard Bill of the Department of Molecular Theory and Spectroscopy at the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Energy Conversion and supported by the Fritz-Haber-Institute.

International Max Planck Research School
This Summer School is part of the International Max Planck Research School on Reactive Structure Analysis for Chemical Reactions (IMPRS RECHARGE).

Download poster:


Keynote lectures

Anders Nilsson
Stockholm University


Course lectures

Thorsten Glaser
University of Bielefeld


Felix Tuczek
University of Kiel


Frank Neese
MPI for Chemical Energy Conversion


Eckhard Bill
MPI for Chemical Energy Conversion


Serena DeBeer
MPI for Chemical Energy Conversion


Maurice van Gastel
MPI for Chemical Energy Conversion


Frank Wennmohs
MPI for Chemical Energy Conversion


Ali Alavi
MPI for Solid State Research


Robert Schlögl
MPI for Chemical Energy Conversion


Marc Willinger
MPI for Chemical Energy Conversion


Malte Behrens
Universität Duisburg Essen


Jennifer Strunk
MPI for Chemical Energy Conversion


Axel Knop-Gericke
FHI Berlin


Shengfa Ye
MPI for Chemical Energy Conversion


Olaf Rüdiger
MPI for Chemical Energy Conversion


Dimitrios A. Pantazis
MPI for Chemical Energy Conversion


 The Science Park Gelsenkirchen is located at the heart of the main traffic network of the Ruhr Valley between motorways A40 and A42. It is also on the main Dortmund - Essen - Cologne rail network. The International Airport in Düsseldorf can be reached in 30 minutes by car or train. If you arrive by train you can take tram no. 302 from Gelsenkirchen mainline station to the Science Park. Alight at the "Wissenschaftspark" stop. Or if you prefer to come by foot, it's less than a 10 minutes walk from the mainline station to the Science Park.

Preliminary Program

Sunday 18/9
14:00 - 17:00Registration / software installation
17:00 - 17:30Welcome by the organizers
17:30 - 18:30Keynote lecture by Anders Nilsson
19:00 - 21:00Dinner and welcome reception
Monday 19/9
09:00 - 10:30Introduction to Quantum Chemistry
10:30 - 11:00Discussion / Coffee break
11:00 - 12:30Solid State Theory
12:30 - 14:00Lunch
14:00 - 18:00Introduction to ORCA & ORCA practicals
18:30 - 19:00Dinner
Tuesday 20/9
09:00 - 10:30Ligand Field Theory & Optical Spectroscopy
10:30 - 11:00Discussion / Coffee break
11:00 - 12:30X-ray Spectroscopy
12:30 - 14:00Lunch
14:00 - 15:30XPS
15:30 - 16:00Discussion / Coffee break
16:00 - 18:30Practical Sessions
18:30 - 19:30Dinner
19:30 - 21:00Poster session
Wednesday 21/9
09:00 - 10:30Photocatalysis
10:30 - 11:00Discussion / Coffee break
11:00 - 12:30Electrochemistry
12:30 - 14:00Lunch
14:00 - 15:30Spin Hamiltonians
15:30 - 16:00Discussion / Coffee break
16:00 - 18:30Practical Sessions
18:30 - 19:30Dinner
Thursday 22/9
09:00 - 10:30Magnetochemistry
10:30 - 11:00Discussion / Coffee break
11:00 - 12:30EPR
12:30 - 14:00Lunch
14:00 - 15:30Surface Characterization
15:30 - 16:00Discussion / Coffee break
16:00 - 18:30Practical Sessions
18:30 - 19:30Dinner
Friday 23/9
09:00 - 10:30Microscopy
10:30 - 11:00Discussion / Coffee break
11:00 - 12:30Reactivity
12:30 - 14:00Lunch
14:00 - 16:30Practical Sessions
16:30 - 19:00Practical Sessions & Special Interest Lectures
19:00 - 21:00Evening BBQ
Saturday 24/9
09:00 - 10:30Mössbauer Spectroscopy
10:30 - 11:00Discussion / Coffee break
11:00 - 12:30Vibrational Spectroscopy
12:30 - 13:30Lunch
13:30 - 14:30Surface enhanced IR & Raman
14:30 - 16:30Practical Sessions
16:30 - 19:00Practical Sessions & Special Interest Lectures
19:00 - 20:00Dinner
20:00 - 21:00ORCA Q&A
Sunday 25/9
09:00 - 11:30Practical Sessions
11:30 - 12:30Closing Keynote Lecture by Serena DeBeer
12:30 -Lunch & Farewell


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Christin Ernst

MPI für Chemische Energiekonversion, Germany
Stiftstr. 34-36
45470 Mülheim a.d.Ruhr
Phone: +49 208 3063681
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We are sorry, registration is closed!

* All participants are expected to bring their own laptop computers in order to take part in the practical sessions, all of which involve computational exercises. The organizers cannot provide any laptops to participants.

* The participant must have full administrative access on his/her laptop, because software will be installed and configured for the purposes of the summer school.

* Although there are no formal minimal hardware requirements, the participant's laptop must be of recent make and reasonably powerful since the practical sessions involve calculations that may take too long or fail to complete within schedule on older computers or on "netbooks" / "ultrabooks".

* Supported operating systems are recent 64-bit versions of Windows, Mac OS-X, and Linux. Other operating systems and 32-bit versions of the above are not supported and will not work with the software provided at the summer school.

* The registration fee for the Summer School is € 150,-. Please make sure to pay the fees by July 15th.

* The registration fee includes: participation to all lectures and practical sessions, and all meals. Expenses for accommodation are not included. Participants are required to book their own hotel rooms. However, we did block a room contingent in two hotels in Gelsenkirchen until July, 5th; the IBIS and the InterCityHotel Gelsenkirchen. (Further information below.)

* Poster: The poster should be in the format DIN A 0 (84cm x 118cm ). Please bring a printed version, as it is not possible to print the poster on site.


We recommend booking one of the following two hotels:

IBIS Gelsenkirchen ***
Bahnhofsvorplatz 12, 45879 Gelsenkirchen (1,0 km to the Wissenschaftspark)
Tel: +49 (0) 209 170 2 - 0
Fax +49 (0) 209 20 98 82
Single room: € 69,- / double room: € 79,- (incl. breakfast)

InterCityHotel Gelsenkirchen ***
Ringstraße 1-3, 45879 Gelsenkirchen (900m to the Wissenschaftspark)
Tel: +49 (0) 209 9255 0
Fax: +49 (0) 209 9255 999
Single room: € 65 / double room: € 75,- (incl. breakfast)

If you book a room in the IBIS or InterCityHotel, please state that you are a participant of the Max Planck Institute’s Summer School. The rooms are reserved until July, 5th.

Of course, you are free to stay in any other location of your choice.
Other hotels are for instance:

Maritim Hotel Gelsenkirchen ****
Am Stadtgarten 1, 45879 Gelsenkirchen
SR/DR: from € 76,- (excl. breakfast)

St. Petrus **
Munckelstr. 3, 45879 Gelsenkirchen
SR/DR: from € 70,- (incl. breakfast)

Hotel am Stern *
Bismarckstr. 70, 45888 Gelsenkirchen
SR: from € 50,- DR: from € 70,- (incl. breakfast)