Welcome to the Delius Research Group



Prof. Dr. Max von Delius

Institute of Organic Chemistry

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 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.  


Huge congrats to two group members: Dr. Sebastian Beil has secured a prestigious Leopoldina postdoctoral fellowship (with Prof. Dave MacMillan, Princeton) and Julian Vogel was awarded the "Studienpreis Wirtschaftschemie (VCW)" for the best degree in management & chemistry in Germany

Congratulations to Fabian Fritze on the successful defense of his PhD thesis!

A warm invitation to the upcoming Mini-Symposium "Dynamic Covalent Cages" (October 25, Ulm University) with the following speakers: Artur Stefankiewicz (AMU Poznań), Anna McConnell (Uni Kiel), Florian Beuerle (Uni Würzburg) and Sébastien Ulrich (IBMM Montpellier).

This winter term we will also have Grace Han (December 12, Brandeis University) and Crispin Lichtenberg (January 24, Uni Würzburg) as guest speakers visit our institute.

Congrats to Henrik Löw and Michael Bothe on the publication of their papers on orthoformate in/in cryptands and thioorthoester metathesis, respectively.

Double congrats to Youzhi Xu who won an MDPI poster prize at ISMSC2019 and whose mini-review "The Supramolecular Chemistry of Strained Carbon Nanohoops" just got accepted in Angewandte Chemie.

Congrats to Xiang Wang and Oleksandr Shyshov whose paper on "inherently dynamic and adaptive orthoester crpytands" (the guest NH4+ acts both as a template and catalyst) was just accepted in JACS! Great added value came from a collaboration with Christof Jäger, Uni Nottingham.

This summer term we will have the following distinguished guest speakers visit our institute: Dave Leigh (May 2, Uni Manchester), Johannes Teichert (May 24, TU Berlin), Michael Sommer (June 21, TU Chemnitz) and Peter Schreiner (July 5, Uni Gießen).

Congratulations to Oleksandr and our collaborators at MPI Mainz (PI: Frederik Wurm) on the publication of our work on Polyorthoesters as Degradable PE Mimicks in Macromolecules.


to the news archive

Paper of the Month

September 2019: Hawbaker and Blackmond evaluated the energy threshold for chiral symmetry breaking in molecular self-replication on the model of the Soai reaction system.

August 2019: Philp and coworkers report an intriguing case of compositional persistence in a dynamic network of replicators.

July 2019: Alfonso, Quesada and Solà demonstrated that tripodal cages are able to kill cancer cells by means of pH-dependant Cl- transport.

June 2019: a new mode of living (annulative) polymerization has been developed by Itami and coworkers and used to prepare graphene nanoribbons. 

May 2019: Matile and coworkers demonstrated how adaptive networks of cyclic oligosulfides represent a new tool to achieve cell penetration.

April 2019: Moran and coworkers carried out a tour de force study of an Fe(II)-promoted chemical reaction network that may be a prebiotic precursor of the Krebs and glyoxylate metabolic cycles.