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)   Office FAU 126b
Labs Ulm  344, 345, 335 (N26)   Labs FAU 216, 217, 301
Phone Ulm +49(0)731-50-22847   Phone FAU +49(0)9131-85-22946
Fax Ulm +49(0)731-50-22840   Fax FAU +49(0)9131-85-26864



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.  


Our latest paper on the "adaptive behaviour 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)!

Elisabeth "Betty" Urbanke just joined our group for an undergraduate project (HiWi). Welcome to the group!

We just hosted an international workshop on "Dynamic Covalent Chemistry as a Tool in the Central Science". Many thanks to our four invited speakers for contributing excellent talks: Prof. Ricardo Furlan (Rosario, Argentina), Dr. Sébastien Ulrich (Montpellier, France), Dr. Euan Kay (St. Andrews, Scotland) and Prof. Michael Mastalerz (Heidelberg, Germany).

This year's Nobel Prize in Chemistry was awarded to Jean-Pierre Sauvage, Fraser Stoddart and Ben Feringa for their awesome work on molecular machines. Great recognition for this vibrant field of research!

Congrats to Oleksandr who has won the Advanced Science poster prize for Molecular Systems at the ERC Grantee Conference in Zandvoort (Netherlands)!

Mission accomplished - our first reactions are running in Ulm, where we have newly equipped three labs. Many thanks to everybody who helped with the move!

Elisabeth "Lizzy" Hofmeister joins our group as a PhD student. Welcome on board!


to the news archive

Paper of the Month

October 2016: Goldup and coworkers developed a simple and high-yielding strategy for the iterative synthesis of oligo[n]rotaxanes.

September 2016: The Whitesides group designed a minimalistic, yet ingenious oscillatory network based on disulfides and thioesters. Systems chemistry!

August 2016: Fujita and coworkers report the self-assembly of a gigantic (diameter 8 nm) Pd30L60 icosidodecahedron

July 2016: Berryman and coworkers report an elegant triple helicate that encapsulates iodide via halogen bonding.

June 2016: Leigh and coworkers describe an autonomous rotary motor: a unique out-of-equlibrium system that converts a chemical fuel into persistent rotary motion.

May 2016: Biedermann and Schneider published a comprehensive review article on experimental (non-covalent) binding energies.