The DFG (German Research Foundation) Senate established thirteen new Priority Programmes in 2014. A research group around Professor Michael Ruck
was responsible for initiating the programme titled “Material Synthesis near Room Temperature” (SPP 1708). Thus, Professor Ruck was appointed coordinator.
The SPP, which started in September 2014 with 17 projects, was granted funding for an initial period of three years with possibility of extension for another three years.
Chemical synthesis of materials is facing enormous challenges: Energy turnaround for sustainability requires completely new materials with outstanding
properties on the one hand, while there is the imperative for resource-efficient use of raw materials and energy through more efficient production of well-known and already
used materials on the other hand. Sustainable chemical processes must be conceived and developed, which are working at lower temperature, to allow for higher purity and
yield and produce less waste. A promising option is the use of ionic liquids (ILs) – organic salts that are liquid below 100 ° C or, for some examples, even at room temperature –
as unique reaction media. The features of these solvents can be widely adapted by variation of their chemical composition. Promising first results demonstrate that various
inorganic materials (metals, alloys, semiconductors, hard materials, functional materials, etc.) can be produced in ILs near ambient conditions. Hence, this approach enables
an enormous reduction of energy usage and technical effort compared to the so far applied high temperature processes. At the same time, chemical material syntheses become
better controllable, also increasing the energy and resource efficiency. Syntheses in ILs also provide great opportunities to discover completely new low-temperature compounds
with potentially outstanding and useful chemical and physical properties.
The priority programme SPP 1708 will bundle and coordinate efforts and competencies to promote the scientific and technological development of the IL-based
synthesis of inorganic materials.
The SPP 1708 “Material Synthesis near Room Temperature” has three objectives:
establishing IL-based resource-efficient syntheses for known functional materials;
discovery of novel, even unorthodox materials that will become accessible by the special, mild conditions for syntheses in ILs;
understanding the principles of dissolution, reaction and crystallization of inorganic solids in ILs.
1st funding period: September 2014 - August 2017
2nd funding period: September 2017 - August 2020