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Chemist Ingo Krossing receives ERC Advanced Grant for developing a universal redox scale

The aim is to set up a universal redox scale and use it with reagents for innocent deelectronization in innocent solvents.

• The funding includes 2.5 million euros for five years.

• Project builds on research from previous ERC Advanced Grant.


Prof. Dr. Ingo Krossing from the Institute for Inorganic and Analytical Chemistry at the University of Freiburg receives an Advanced Grant from the European Research Council (ERC) for his research on a universal redox scale. Krossing's research project "InnoChem - Innocent Deelectronation Chemistry" will be funded with 2.5 million euros over a period of five years.


Research builds on ERC Advanced Grant for the "UniChem" project

“The transfer of an electron is an elementary process whose energetics are fundamentally important in chemistry, life sciences and materials science. We want to explore how to bring these energetics together in all solvents onto a single, universal scale,” explains Krossing. As early as 2012, he and his team had created the concept for a uniform redox scale with which the electrochemical potentials of all substances can be compared. For this conceptual work he received the ERC Advanced Grant "UniChem" in 2012.


Measure energetics without extra-thermodynamic assumptions

In the current "InnoChem" project, the researchers now want to show ways with which the energetics can be measured without extra-thermodynamic assumptions. The aim is to crack the more than hundred-year-old problem of single-ion thermodynamics. The unified, solvent-independent redox scale enables knowledge-based selection of reagents for any redox reaction in any environment. This is to be used in the applied part of the project: "Reagents for the innocent deelectronization, i.e. the removal of an electron at a high potential while preserving the structure, are hardly available to date," says Krossing. "We therefore produce salts whose cations act as innocent deelectronators with high redox potentials." These reagents convert neutral molecules into so-called naked cations, making them accessible for basic research or other possible applications. "Such reversible deelectronator-mediated redox processes at high potential are interesting for electrosynthesis and electrocatalysis and should make reactions previously considered impossible accessible," says Krossing. In order to study and apply these processes extensively, his research team establishes a family of solvents compatible with the high potential of deelectronators and the reactive cations (intermediates) generated.


With the "InnoChem" research project, Krossing's team is building a bridge to understanding redox processes, which are not only of fundamental interest in chemistry, but also in every process involving the transfer of electrons, be it in redox enzyme cascades in the life sciences or when charging and discharging batteries in materials science.


To person

Ingo Krossing received the ERC Advanced Grant for the "UniChem" project in 2012. He has been Professor of Inorganic Chemistry at the University of Freiburg since 2006. He is a member of the Cluster of Excellence Living, Adaptive and Energy-autonomous Materials Systems (livMatS) at the University of Freiburg. In 2018 he was admitted to the Heidelberg Academy of Sciences and in 2020 to the National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina. After studying and doing his doctorate at the Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich and a postdoc in Canada, he wrote his habilitation thesis at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology. After two years as an assistant professor at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne/Switzerland, he came to the University of Friborg in 2006, where he is a member of the Friborg Materials Research Center FMF and the Friborg Center for Interactive Materials and Bio-Inspired Technologies FIT.


About the Cluster of Excellence livMatS

The University of Freiburg's "Living, Adaptive and Energy-autonomous Materials Systems" (livMatS) Cluster of Excellence is developing lifelike material systems inspired by nature. The systems will autonomously adapt to environmental conditions, generate clean energy from their environment and be insensitive to damage or compensate for it independently.


ERC press release

Moreabout the research of Ingo Krossing




Prof. Dr. Ingo Krossing

Institute for Inorganic and Analytical Chemistry

Albert Ludwig University of Freiburg

Phone: 0761/203-6122

Email: ingo.krossing(at)


Franziska Becker

University and science communication

Albert Ludwig University of Freiburg

Phone: 0761/203-54271

Email: franziska.becker(at)