Welcome to the Delius Research Group



Prof. Dr. Max von Delius

Institute of Organic Chemistry and Advanced Materials

University of Ulm

Albert-Einstein-Allee 11

89081 Ulm




Office Ulm 338 (N26)
Labs Ulm  344, 345, 335 (N26)
Phone Ulm +49(0)731-50-22847
Secretary +49(0)731-50-22851



Max von Delius studied chemistry at Friedrich-Alexander University (FAU) in Erlangen  and at Louis-Pasteur University in Strasbourg (France). In 2007, he moved to Edinburgh (Scotland) where he worked with Prof. David A. Leigh on a PhD thesis on walking molecules. From 2011 to 2012 he was a Leopoldina postdoctoral fellow in the group of Prof. Vy M. Dong in Toronto (Canada) where he worked on several projects in the area of homogeneous catalysis. From 2013 to 2016, he has been a junior research group leader (Emmy-Noether programme) at FAU Erlangen-Nürnberg and in May 2016 he was appointed Associate Professor at the University of Ulm.


Our research activities are positioned at the interface of supramolecular chemistry, dynamic covalent chemistry and the synthesis of functional materials. One central goal of our group is to study complex, dynamic mixtures and manipulate their composition in such a way that interesting systemic properties emerge, which cannot be deduced from the sum of individual compounds' properties (systems chemistry). We are also active in the field of functional materials and synthetic carbon allotropes, where we seek to apply the synthesized compounds in new-generation solar cells.


Coworkers in the Delius group will be trained in all aspects of synthetic organic chemistry (synthesis, purification, literature research), supramolecular chemistry (screenings, titrations, crystallisation), as well as analytical chemistry (NMR, MS, HPLC, LCMS, GC). Our research on systems chemistry will contribute to a better understanding of highly complex systems in nature and we are working towards practical applications in molecular sensing and organic electronics.  


Réne-Chris Brachvogel successfully defended his PhD today - with distinction ("summa cum laude"). Many congratulations, René and all the best for future endeavours!

Mark your calendars - our group will host the following visiting speakers during this summer term: 5.5. Dr. David Bléger (HU Berlin), 11.5. Prof. Christoph Schalley (FU Berlin), 1.6. Prof. Oliver Trapp (LMU Munich).

Our second-year PhD student Oleksandr Shyshov has been awarded a doctoral scholarship by the DAAD. Congratulations!

The speakers list for the "Ulm-Erlangen Mini-Symposium on Functional Organic Materials" on July 10/11 is now complete: Stefan Hecht (HU Berlin), Sigurd Höger (Uni Bonn), Klaus Müllen (MPI Mainz), Albert Schenning (TU Eindhoven), Christoph Brabec (Erlangen), Andreas Hirsch (Erlangen), Milan Kivala (Erlangen), Heiko Weber (Erlangen), Peter Bäuerle (Ulm), Ute Kaiser (Ulm), Stefano Passerini (Ulm, HIU), Carsten Streb (Ulm). More details can be found here.

Dr. Gastón Orrillo (IIDEFAR, Rosario, Argentina) joins the group for an international research stay funded by CONICET. Welcome on board!

A warm welcome goes out to Balakrishna Bugga (PhD with Anton Vidal at ICIQ Tarragona) who joined the group for a postdoctoral fellowship!

Our latest paper on the "Adaptive Behavior of Dynamic Orthoester Cryptands" was just accepted for publication in ACIE. Congrats to Oleksandr, René and our collaborators! 

Our first postdoc joined the group today: a big welcome to Dr. Xiang Wang (PhD with Ivan Huc at CNRS Bordeaux)!


to the news archive

Paper of the Month

June 2017: in a synthetic tour de force featuring consecutive Wittig reactions and a final Nickel-mediated six-fold C-C coupling, Itami and coworkers achieved the first synthesis of a carbon nanobelt.

May 2017: Cristiano Zonta an coworkers describe a metallosupramolecular/dynamic covalent cage whose rate of hydrolytic disassembly can be controlled by the size of ditopic guests.

April 2017: Watson-Crick base pairing with dye-functionalized DNA single strands and an associated colour change of 3D DNA crystals was demonstrated by Seeman and coworkers.

March 2017: Fletcher and colleagues were able to use ultrasensitive optical microscopy for  visualizing the emergence of a complex, autocatalytic system.

February 2017: Walther and coworkers realized social self-sorting of microgel systems by merging colloidal self-assembly with supramolecular interactions.

January 2017: Anderson and coworkers demonstrate paratropic and diatropic ring currents at an unprecedented scale: one of their six-porphyrin nanorings is globally antiaromatic in its four-fold oxidized state (80 π-electrons) and globally aromatic in its six-fould oxidized state (78 π-electrons).