Karl Kirchner

Univ.Prof. Dipl.-Ing. Dr.techn.

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+43 1 58801 - 163611
+43 664 5009830
+43 1 58801 - 153 40

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Karl Kirchner was born in Wiener Neustadt, Austria, in 1960. He attended the Technische Universität Wien (TUW) from 1979 until 1987, where he received his Diploma and Ph.D. under the supervision of Prof. Roland Schmid.

After a two-year postdoctoral stay at Washington State University with Prof. John P. Hunt and an additional postdoctoral year with Nobel laureate Prof. Henry Taube at Stanford University he returned to Austria and joined the research group of Prof. Roland Schmid. He became associate Professor in 1994 at TUW and in 1998 associate Professor in the field of Organometallic Chemistry. Since 2020 he is Professor of "Base Metal Catalysis" at the Institute of Applied Synthetic Chemistry (TUW). From 2020 to 2024 he was Head of the Institute. He is author of 292 research publications in peer-reviewed journals (h-index 55).

The expertise of the group of Karl Kirchner is centered around the themes ligand design, synthesis of transition metal complexes, applications of transition metal complexes to homogeneous catalysis. The main research goal is to develop well-defined non-precious transition metal complexes, with emphasis on vanadium, chromium, manganese, iron, cobalt, nickel, and molybdenum, for catalytic transformations that are related to synthesis, energy, and sustainability. Towards this goal, we currently focus on metal-catalyzed hydrogenations of alkenes, alkynes, ketones, aldehydes, and carbon dioxide, C-C and C-N bond forming reactions which involve acceptorless dehydrogenations of alcohols, cross coupling reactions, hydroborations of alkynes, hydrosilylation of alkenes, and activation of small molecules such as H2, O2, and CO2. In addition, we are interested in the mechanisms of organic and organometallic reactions mediated by transition metal complexes which are investigated by means of NMR and IR spectroscopy, ESI MS, X-ray crystallography, and DFT calculations.


292 Publications in peer-reviewed journals (h-index 55, citations: >10000; number of citations/paper: 25), 8 Book Chapters

169 Lectures (141 keynote, plenary, and invited lectures at international conferences and universities)


Prof. Maria J. Calhorda, Universidade de Lisboa, Portugal, DFT calculations (https://ciencias.ulisboa.pt/en/perfil/mjcalhorda)

Prof. Luis F. Veiros, Universidade de Lisboa, Portugal, DFT calculations (http://web.ist.utl.pt/veiros/english/)

Dr. Ernst Pittenauer, TUW, Mechanistic ESI MS studies

Prof. Liliana Ferreira, Universidade de Lisboa, Portugal, Mössbauer and SQUID studies

Prof. Nadia. C. Mösch-Zanetti, University of Graz, Austria, DFT calculations (https://chemie.uni-graz.at/de/bioanorganik-und-koordinationschemie/)

Dr. Luca Gonsalvi, Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, Florence, Italy, CO2 as building block for fine chemicals (http://www.iccom.cnr.it/gonsalvi/)