The research in main group element chemistry focuses on new bonding systems, especially with phosphorus, but also tin, lead, and tellurium in order to test and expand fundamental bonding concepts. Reactive building blocks are synthesized and applied to synthetic chemistry. Current activities in main group element chemistry concentrate on:

(i) The development of new phosphorus based photoinitiators and flame retardants for efficient and environmentally benign surface functionalization; 

(ii) The synthesis of low-valent phosphorus compounds including phosphorus centered radicals as building blocks and potentially interesting “super”-spin-labels; 

(iii) The fascinating structures and surprising reactivity of alkali metal phosphides.

This research is driven by the strong believe that there will be a large demand for simple and reliable procedures to prepare molecules containing main group elements which can be applied in modern material science. Creative chemists with strong experimental skills will be needed to solve these problems.

Hansjörg Grützmacher did his first degree and his PhD with Herbert W. Roesky at the University of Göttingen. He worked at CNRS, LCC ( Laboratoire de Chimie de Coordination) in Toulouse, and was lecturer at the University of Heidelberg and joined the faculty of the University of Freiburg. Since 2001, he is appointed as full professor at the ETH Zürich. The research of the group of Grützmacher concerned the main group element chemistry (e.g. new bonding systems with phosphorus) and organometallic chemistry.