Our research activities can best be summarized under the heading organic systems and materials. We are particularly fascinated by complex dynamic systems, in which interesting properties can be observed, and we are synthesizing novel functional materials, particularly carbon-rich compounds and building blocks for new-generation solar cells.


Our research on dynamic systems has led to the development of a new dynamic covalent exchange reaction: orthoester exchange. We could show that this process has some rather unique advantages and we could apply it to the self-assembly of a new class of cryptates (cage-like molecules), which are unique in many ways: they can be prepared in one step, they are constitutionally dynamic and the guest ion can be realeased via hydrolysis. Read more here.


Our studies of functional materials have recently led to the synthesis of new building blocks for organic solar cells. Based on the hypothesis that an extra nitrogen atom increases light absorption, we have prepared azafullerenes to be used as electron acceptors in organic photovoltaics. With our collaborators in Spain we could show that these molecules indeed allowed an increased light uptake in the prepared solar cells. Read more here.

Research Highlights


E. Ubasart, O. Borodin, C. Fuertes-Espinosa, Y. Xu, C. García-Simón, J. Juanhuix, F. Gándara, I. Imaz, D. Maspoch, M. von Delius, X. Ribas A three-shell supramolecular complex enables the symmetry-mismatched chemo- and regioselective bis-functionalization of C60Nature Chemistry 2021, 13, 420-427

(Press release in English and German; Highlighted on the journal front cover and in C&EN, Chemistry Views, Nanowerk, ChemEurope, Laborpraxis, ChemistryCommunityAnimated Gif by Agustí Lledó)


Y. Xu, S. Gsänger, M. B. Minameyer, I. Imaz, D. Maspoch, O. Shyshov, F. Schwer, X. Ribas, T. Drewello, B. Meyer, M. von Delius Highly Strained, Radially π-Conjugated Porphyrinylene NanohoopsJournal of the American Chemical Society 2019, 141, 18500-18507

(Highlighted on the journal front cover)


X. Wang, O. Shyshov, M. Hanževački, C. Jäger, M. von Delius Ammonium Complexes of Orthoester Cryptands are Inherently Dynamic and AdaptiveJournal of the American Chemical Society 2019, 141, 8868−8876
Y. Xu, R. Kaur, B. Wang, M. B. Minameyer, S. Gsänger, B. Meyer, T. Drewello, D. M. Guldi, M. von Delius A Concave-Convex π-π Template Approach Enables the Synthesis of [10]Cycloparaphenylene-Fullerene [2]RotaxanesJournal of the American Chemical Society 2018, 140, 13413-13420

(Highlighted as JACS Spotlight)


O. Shyshov, R. Brachvogel, T. Bachmann, R. Srikantharajah, D. Segets, F. Hampel, R. Puchta, M. von Delius Adaptive Behaviour of Dynamic Orthoester CryptandsAngewandte Chemie International Edition 2017, 56, 776-781

(Highlighted in Nachrichten aus der Chemie)


R. Brachvogel, F. Hampel, M. von Delius Self-assembly of dynamic orthoester cryptatesNature Communications 2015, 6, 7129