Our institute focuses on crystallographic methods beyond routine structure determination of inorganic compounds. One aspect is the detailed study of reaction mechanisms and structure/properties-relationships, focussing on a broad range of inorganic chemical problems involving materials, network compounds, molecular organometallic compounds and pharmaceutical products. Another aspect is method development within the field of crystallography. Modern techniques of experimental electron density determination and analysis are expanded and directly linked to the respective chemical projects.
The experimental determination of the electronic structure of compounds containing heavy elements with relativistic effects is of key interest and is investigated in three different ways: lone pair interactions of heavy elements in network compounds (AG Gesing), bonding properties of heavy elements in molecular compounds (AG Beckmann) and extraction of relativistic effects from the electron density (AG Grabowsky). This leads to an improved understanding of structure/properties-relationships, which is of fundamental importance in the development of novel materials and is therefore directly connected to the "MAPEX Materials and Processes" center of the University of Bremen.