Professor Rainer Herges, University of Kiel, Germany, has received the Adolf von Baeyer Memorial Medal 2023. The prize, which is endowed with EUR 7,500, is awarded to scientists for outstanding work in the field of organic chemistry. The award’s namesake, Adolf von Baeyer, was one of the most important chemists of his time and won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1905 for the synthesis of indigo and triphenylmethane dyes. The prize was presented at the GDCh-Wissenschaftsforum Chemie (WiFo 2023) in Leipzig, Germany on September 5, 2023.
Rainer Herges received the award for his many original, fundamental, and internationally outstanding contributions, with which he has shaped organic chemistry. His research interests include switchable molecular magnets, molecular assemblers, switchable self-assembled surfaces, Möbius aromatics, the visualization of aromaticity, the computer-aided discovery of new chemical reactions, molecular electronics/spintronics, and photopharmacology.
Herges’ work ranges from theory to synthesis and practical application. For example, he successfully developed methods based on machine learning that could be used to predict new chemical transformations. His ACID method for visualizing the density of delocalized electrons is widely used. In addition, he succeeded in producing the first molecule that can be switched magnetically at room temperature, which, for example, allows highly precise and spatially high-resolution temperature measurements in MRI.
Rainer Herges studied chemistry at Saarland University, Saarbrücken, Germany, and completed his Ph.D. in organic chemistry in 1984 at the Technical University of Munich, Germany. After research stays at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, USA, and at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, Germany, he completed his habilitation in 1992. In 1996, Herges became Professor of Organic Chemistry at the Technical University of Braunschweig. Since 2001, he has served as Full Professor of Organic Chemistry at the University of Kiel. Among other awards, Herges has received the Science Award of the City of Kiel in 2015 and a Nozoe Lectureship, Sapporo, Japan, in 2019.
- Spying on parahydrogen-induced polarization transfer using a half-tesla benchtop MRI and hyperpolarized imaging enabled by automation,
Frowin Ellermann, Aidan Sirbu, Arne Brahms, Charbel Assaf, Rainer Herges, Jan-Bernd Hövener, Andrey N. Pravdivtsev,
Nat. Commun. 2023.
- Triplet sensitization enables bidirectional isomerization of diazocine with 130 nm redshift in excitation wavelengths,
Jussi Isokuortti, Thomas Griebenow, Jan-Simon von Glasenapp, Tim Raeker, Mikhail A. Filatov, Timo Laaksonen, Rainer Herges, Nikita A. Durandin,
Chem. Sci. 2023, 14, 9161–9166.
- To Isomerize or not to Isomerize? E/Z Isomers of Cyclic Azobenzene Derivatives and Their Reactivity Upon One‐Electron Reduction,
Gabriel Glotz, Konstantin Knaipp, Martin S. Maier, Katharina Hüll, Alexander Novak, Anne‐Marie Kelterer, Thomas Griebenow, Rainer Herges, Dirk Trauner, Georg Gescheidt,
Chem. Eur. J. 2023.
- The first porous MOF with photoswitchable linker molecules,
Antje Modrow, Dordaneh Zargarani, Rainer Herges, Norbert Stock,
Dalton Trans. 2011, 40, 4217.
- Light-Induced Spin Change by Photodissociable External Ligands: A New Principle for Magnetic Switching of Molecules,
Steffen Thies, Hanno Sell, Christian Schütt, Claudia Bornholdt, Christian Näther, Felix Tuczek, Rainer Herges,
J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2011, 133, 16243–16250.
- Highly Efficient Reversible Z−E Photoisomerization of a Bridged Azobenzene with Visible Light through Resolved S1(nπ*) Absorption Bands,
Ron Siewertsen, Hendrikje Neumann, Bengt Buchheim-Stehn, Rainer Herges, Christian Näther, Falk Renth, Friedrich Temps,
J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2009, 131, 15594–15595.
- Topology in Chemistry: Designing Möbius Molecules,
Chem. Rev. 2006, 106, 4820–4842.