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 is Professor of Organic Chemistry at the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Advanced Materials of the University of Ulm. He studied chemistry at Friedrich-Alexander University (FAU) in Erlangen  and at Louis-Pasteur University in Strasbourg (France). He obtained his PhD from the University of Edinburgh (Scotland) and was a Leopoldina postdoctoral fellow at the University of Toronto (Canada). In 2018, Max von Delius was awarded the Hoechst Dozentenpreis and from July 2019 his research activities will be supported by the European Research Council (ERC starting grant).


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 chemical networks at equilibrium and beyond (systems chemistry). We are also active in the field of functional organic materials and synthetic carbon allotropes, where we seek to apply the synthesized compounds in new-generation solar cells and photocatalysis.


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.  


Congrats to our MSc student Julian Vogel who has been awarded a scholarship for his MSc project by the Stiftung Industrieforschung!

Max von Delius has received the prestigious Hoechst Dozentenpreis in Düsseldorf in the presence of the who's who of German chemistry (academia and industry)! To acknowledge the creativity and hard work by past and present team members, they will get a share of the prize (ski trip to Austria in March 2019). 

We inaugurated an amazing piece of art tonight in Ulm: a giant, fluorescing Erlenmeyer flask! Perfect outreach for our transregional SFB CataLight. Check out the pictures at SWP and Uni Ulm.

Mark your calendars - this winter term our institute will host the following speakers: 05.11.2018 Ivan Aprahamian (Dartmouth), 08.11.2018 Marcin Stepien (Uni Wroclaw), 09.11.2018 Kathleen Mullen (QUT Brisbane), Bryan Koivisto (Ryerson) and Jochen Niemeyer (Uni Duisburg-Essen), 29.11.2018 Frank Würthner (Uni Würzburg), 07.12.2018 Andreas Herrmann (Firmenich SA), 11.01.2019 Peter Huy (Uni Saarland).

Bryan Koivisto from Ryerson University (Toronto, Canada) joins our Institute as a Visiting Professor. Great to have your here, Bryan!

Congrats to Youzhi Xu whose paper on two rather unusual [2]rotaxanes based on [10]CPP and C60 just got accepted and immediately published in JACS.

A warm welcome to two new group members: Julia Villalva (from Emilio Perez' lab) joins the group for a three month visit and Julian Vogel just started work on his Master thesis in our lab.

We are delighted to announce that our lab has been awarded with a € 1.5 million ERC starting grant for the project "SUPRANET": Supramolecular Recognition in Dynamic Covalent Networks at Equilibrium and Beyond. Amazing opportunity to do frontier research over the next five years! Click here for the German or English press release.


to the news archive

Paper of the Month

November 2018: Stupp and coworkers found a supramolecular sweet spot (strong enough, yet not too strong) in their DNA-peptide fibrous superstructures that are still dynamic after self-assembly.

October 2018: we are just as excited as Derek Lowe about two papers (Pantelic, Gonen) demonstrating that electron diffraction ("micro-ED") can be used to elucidate the structure of small molecules, circumventing the need to grow sizable single crystals.

September 2018: we were equally surprised and excited to see a paper on the fight against "Inter-Galactic Parasites" based on a tool called "MORTY", authored by Beth Smith at the Sanchez Institute.

August 2018: an impressive coupling of photodynamic and dynamic covalent equilibria was achieved by Stefan Hecht and coworkers in their "light-driven Dean-Stark".

July 2018: Fletcher and coworkers report a fully synthetic self-replicator, which is fundamentally based on phase sepration and micelle self-assembly.

June 2018: Herder and Lehn introduce the concept of a "photodynamic covalent bond" to the toolbox of dynamic covalent chemistry.