Dr. Peter Coburger

Liebig Fellowship

Carbene-substituted Heterocycles for Sustainable Catalysis
Chair of Inorganic Chemistry with Focus on Novel Materials

Academic Career and Research Areas

Dr. Coburger's research area is the synthesis and coordination chemistry of carbene-substituted heterocycles. Here, the focus lies on complexes of main-group metals (germanium) and base metals (iron, cobalt). The resulting coordination compounds show interesting redox properties: The carbene substituents of the heterocylic ligands can act as electron reservoirs, i.e. they actively participate in electron transfer processes. Therefore, these ligands are classified as redox non-innocent.
The group of Dr. Coburger investigates how these properties can be used to develop catalysts based on the aforementioned main group and base metals. The research is conducted using experimental and theoretical methods.

Dr. Coburger received his Master's degree from the University of Leipzig in 2015. He then conducted his PhD research with Prof. Evamarie Hey-Hawkins (2015 - 2019, University of Leipzig). The research focussed on utilizing carborane-substituted diphosphetanes as synthons for new phosphorus-based ligands. The PhD project was followed by a postdoctoral research project with Prof. Robert Wolf (2019 - 2020, University of Regensburg). Then, Dr. Coburger relocated to the ETH Zurich to work as a postdoctoral research fellow in the group of Prof. Hansjörg Grützmacher (2020 - 2022). At the beginning of the year 2023, he started his independent research career at the TU Munich, supported by a Liebig Fellowship of the FCI.


  • 2023: Liebig fellowship of the FCI
  • 2020: Research fellowship (Postdoc) of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft
  • 2020: BuildMoNa Award (3rd place) for “Outstanding Scientific Results”
  • 2016: PhD fellowship of the Studienstiftung des Deutschen Volkes
  • 2014: Fellowship of the Studienstiftung des Deutschen Volkes (chemistry studies)

P. Coburger, F. Masero, J. Boesken, V. Mougel, H. Grützmacher, A Germapyramidane Switches Between 3D Cluster and 2D Cyclic Structures in Single-Electron Steps, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2022, 61, e202211749


M. T. Scharnhölz, P. Coburger, L. Gravogl, D. Klose, J. J. Gamboa-Carballo, G. Le Corre, J. Bösken, C. Schweinzer, D. Thöny, K. Meyer, Z. Li, H. Grützmacher, Bis(imidazolium)-1,3-diphosphete-diide: A Building Block for FeC2P2 Complexes and Clusters, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2022, 61, e202205371


P. Coburger, J. Leitl, D. Scott, G. Hierlmeier, I. Shenderovich, E. Hey-Hawkins, R. Wolf, Synthesis of a Carborane-substituted Bis(phosphanido) Cobaltate(I), Ligand Substitution, and Unusual P4 Fragmentation, Chem. Sci. 2021, 12, 11225-11235.


P. Coburger, S. Demeshko, C. Rödl, E. Hey-Hawkins, R. Wolf, Oxidative P−P Bond Addition to Cobalt(−I): Formation of a Low‐Spin Cobalt(III) Phosphanido Complex, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2017, 56, 15871–15875


P. Coburger, J. Schulz, J. Klose, B. Schwarze, M. B. Sárosi, E. Hey-Hawkins, C2-Symmetric P,N Ligands Derived from Carborane-Based Diphosphetanes: Synthesis and Coordination Chemistry, Inorg. Chem. 2017, 56, 292–304