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19-07-2019 | Materials Technology | News | Article

Solid state chemist Martin Jansen receives Otto Hahn Prize 2019

Leyla Buchholz

The director emeritus of the Max Planck Institute for Solid State Research in Stuttgart, Professor Dr. Dr. h.c. Martin Jansen, receives the Otto Hahn Prize 2019 for his revolution in the synthesis of unknown and exotic compounds. The award is endowed with 50,000 euros and is jointly sponsored by the City of Frankfurt am Main, the Society of German Chemists (GDCh) and the German Physical Society (DPG).


The Otto Hahn Prize 2019 will be awarded on November 11 in the festive setting of the Paulskirche in Frankfurt. With its principle of rational synthesis planning, the prizewinner has revolutionized the synthesis of unknown and exotic compounds. His research opens up new avenues in the search for innovative materials. Jansen's basic research in inorganic solid state chemistry is concerned with finding new solids with interesting material properties and developing innovative materials. His focus lies on new binary and ternary oxides, superconducting oxides, ionic conductors, oxide structural ceramics and pigments, endoedric fullerenes and fullerides and amorphous inorganic nitride networks.

Such materials have special properties that distinguish them from classical materials. For example, the Si-B-N-C high-performance ceramic discovered and developed by Jansen (Si: silicon, B: boron, N: nitrogen, C: carbon) is more stable to heat and oxidative decomposition than metallic materials and all previously known high-performance ceramics. The lightweight and temperature-stable material is also amorphous and thus not brittle like other ceramic materials. Jansen also broke new ground in the synthesis of the material. From simple molecules with the desired bonds, he produced a polymer in the laboratory that can be disintegrated under heat to produce the desired ceramic. Thanks to this unique synthesis strategy, the polymer can not only be used to produce powders and thin ceramic layers, but also to draw fibers.

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