Prof. Ulrich Kaspar Heiz


Physical Chemistry

Academic Career and Research Areas

Prof. Heiz investigates properties of small material grains with sizes in the non-scalable size range. Here the properties are determined by the exact number of atoms. The results are used to understand nanocatalysis, asymmetric catalysis and photocatalysis. He has developed several novel experimental methods to investigate such clusters on surfaces.

After studying chemistry at the University of Bern (1987), he received his doctoral degree in Physical Chemistry (1991). With scholarships from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the Swiss National Science Foundation, Heiz conducted research at ExxonMobil Research & Engineering Company and at the University of Pittsburgh, USA. He then habilitated in Physics at the University of Lausanne in 1998. This was followed by stays abroad in Japan and Berlin (Alexander von Humboldt Fellow) until he was appointed to the University of Ulm in 2000. Since 2004 he has been professor of Physical Chemistry at TUM. He declined several appointments at foreign universities (e.g. UC Berkeley, Georgia Tech, USA). 


  • Speaker of the Cluster of Excellence e-conversion (2018)
  • Member of the Chemistry Forum of the DFG (2013)
  • ERC Advanced Grant (2010)
  • Alexander von Humboldt Committee Member (2006)
  • Andrew Mellon Fellow (1992)

Crampton, AS.; Rötzer, MD.; Ridge, CJ.; Schweinberger, FF.; Heiz, U; Yoon, B; Landman, U: "Structure sensitivity in the nonscalable regime explored via catalysed ethylene hydrogenation on supported platinum nanoclusters". Nature Communications. 2016; 10389.


Wettergren, K.; Schweinberger, FF; Deiana, D.; Ridge, CJ; Crampton, AS; Rötzer, M; Hansen, TW; Zhdanov, VP; Heiz, U; Langhammer, C: “High Sintering Resistance of Size-Selected Platinum Cluster Catalysts by Suppressed Ostwald Ripening". Nano Letters. 2014; 14 (10): 5803-5809.


Nesselberger, M; Roefzaad, M; Fayçal HR.; Biedermann, UP.; Schweinberger, FF.; Kunz, S; Schloegl, K; Wiberg, GKH; Ashton, S; Heiz, U; Mayrhofer, KJJ; Arenz, M: "The effect of particle proximity on the oxygen reduction rate of size-selected platinum clusters." Nature Materials. 2013; 12: 919-924.


Schweinberger, FF; Berr, MJ; Döblinger, M; Wolff, Ch; Sanwald, KE; Crampton, AS; Ridge, CJ; Jäckel, F; Feldmann, J; Tschurl, M; Heiz, U: "Cluster size effects in the photocatalytic hydrogen evolution reaction". J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2013; 135 (36): 13262-13265.


Yoon, B; Haekkinen, H; Landman, U; Woerz, AS.; Antonietti, JM; Abbet, S; Judai, K; Heiz, U: "Charging Effects on Bonding and Catalyzed Oxidation of CO on Au8 Clusters on MgO". Science. 2005; 307 (5708): 403-407.