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Peter R. Schreiner

Blurred image of a green laser used as background for stylistic purposes.
Adjunct Professor
Liebig Chair, Justus Liebig University Giessen

Peter R. Schreiner (b. 1965) is professor of organic chemistry and Liebig-Chair at the Institute of Organic Chemistry at the Justus Liebig University Giessen, Germany. He studied chemistry in his native city at the University of Erlangen-Nürnberg, Germany, where he received his Dr. rer. nat. (1994) in Organic Chemistry. Simultaneously, he obtained a PhD (1995) in Computational Chemistry from the University of Georgia, USA. He completed his habilitation (assistant professorship) at the University of Göttingen (1999), before becoming associate professor at the University of Georgia (Athens, USA), and head of the institute in Giessen in 2002. He has been a visiting professor at the CNRS in Bordeaux, the Technion in Haifa, the Australian National University in Canberra, and the University of Florida in Gainesville. His research interests include organic reaction dynamics and reactive intermediates, quantum mechanical tunneling as well as London dispersion interactions as probed in the realm of nanodiamonds and organocatalysis.

  • Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg (Germany), Dr. rer. nat. 1994
  • University of Georgia, Ph.D. 1995
  • Habilitation (venia legendi), 1999
Research Interests:

We are interested in organocatalytic reactions and methods (thioureas, oligopeptides), nanodiamonds (diamondoids) as building blocks and materials (e.g., organic electronics), matrix isolation of reactive intermediates (e.g., carbenes) and computational chemistry . Our group consists of scientists from the People's Republic of China, Germany, Iran, the Czech Republic, Ukraine and the United States of America. Besides interesting conversations about science and more, this leads to a tangle of voices and smells in our kitchen...

For details, please see our research pages (Schreiner + Uni Giessen).

Selected Publications:
  1. Assessing the Experimental Hydrogen Bonding Energy of the Cyclic Water Dimer Transition State with a Cyclooctatetraene-Based Molecular Balance. H. F. König, H. Hausmann, P. R. Schreiner J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2022, 144, 16965. Highlight:Selected as front cover picture of this issue (37).
  2. London Dispersion Rather than Steric Hindrance Determines the Enantioselectivity of the Corey-Bakshi-Shibata Reduction. C. Eschmann, L. Song, P. R. Schreiner Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2021, 60, 4823
  3. Intramolecular London Dispersion Interactions Do Not Cancel in Solution. J. M. Schümann, J. P. Wagner, A. K. Eckhardt, H. Quanz, P. R. Schreiner J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2020, 143, 41. 
  4. Competitive nitrogen versus carbon tunnellingC. M. Nunes, A. K. Eckhardt, I. Reva, R. Fausto, P. R. Schreiner J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2019, 141, 14340.
  5. Gas-phase sugar formation using hydroxymethylene as the reactive formaldehyde isomer. A. K. Eckhardt, M. M. Linden, R. C. Wende, B. Bernhardt, P. R. Schreiner Nat. Chem. 2018, 10, 1141.
  6. London Dispersion Enables the Shortest Intermolecular Hydrocarbon H•••H Contact. S. Rösel, H. Quanz, C. Logemann, J. Becker, E. Mossou, L. Cañadillas Delgado, E. Caldeweyher, S. Grimme, P. R. Schreiner J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2017, 139, 7428. Highlights: a) Hydrogens set a short-distance record. Chem. Eng. News 2017, 95 (21), 8; b) Shortest H···H Contact between Hydrocarbon Molecules. ChemViews May 25, 2017. c) Close Encounters of the Hydrogen Kind. JACS Spotlight J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2017, 139, 7665.
  7. Gas phase preparation of carbonic acid and its monomethyl ester. H. P. Reisenauer, J. P. Wagner, P. R. Schreiner Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2014, 53, 11766. Highlights: a) Front cover of this issue; b) Perspective: Götz Bucher and Wolfram Sander Science 2014, 346, 544–545; c) Feature: Carbonic Acid Crystal Forms Identified. Jyllian N. Kemsley C & EN News 2014, 92 (41), 28–29; d) ChemistryViewsCarbonic Acid – And Yet It Exists!; e) Innovations Report: Carbonic Acid—And Yet It Exists!; f) Preparation and characterization of gas-phase carbonic acid and its monomethyl ester.
  8. Overcoming Extremely Long C–C Alkane Bond Lability through Attractive Dispersion Forces. P. R. Schreiner, L. V. Chernish, P. A. Gunchenko, E. Yu. Tikhonchuk, H. Hausmann, M. Serafin, S. Schlecht, J. E. P. Dahl, R. M. K. Carlson, A. A. FokinNature 2011, 477, 308. Highlights: a) World’s longest carbon-carbon bond created Chemistry World 2011September 14, 2011; b) Carbon-Carbon bonds that are long and strong C & EN News 2011, 89 (38), 28. c) Extrem lange Kohlenstoff-Kohlenstoff-Bindung mit Nanodiamanten Spektrum der Wissenschaft 2011, November issue, p. 10. d) Mehr als nur ein Längenrekord. Sylvia Feil Chem. unserer Zeit 2012, 46, 6–8.
  9. Methylhydroxycarbene: Tunneling Control of a Chemical Reaction. P. R. Schreiner, H. P. Reisenauer, D. Ley, D. Gerbig, C.-H. Wu, W. D. Allen Science 2011, 332, 1300. Perspective: Taking the high road and getting there before you. Barry K. Carpenter Science 2011, 332, 1269–1270. Highlights: a) Tunneling Control. Gavin Armstrong Nature Chem. 2011, 3, 572. b) Quantum tunneling creates “wrong” molecule. Laura Howes Chemistry World 2011June 10. c) Tunneleffekt wandelt Methylhydroxycarben in Acetaldehyd um. Reto Müller Organic Chemistry Portal, 2011, June 14. d) Verblüffender chemischer Tunnelverkehr Scienceticker 2011, June 9. e) Das Beamen von Materie: Neue Triebkraft chemischer Reaktionen 2011, June 16. f) Triebkraft chemischer Reaktionen entdeckt ChemieXtra 2011, issue 7/8, 18.
  10. Capture of Hydroxymethylene and its fast Disappearance Through Tunnelling. P. R. Schreiner, H. P. Reisenauer, F. Pickard, A. C. Simmonett, W. D. Allen, E. Mátyus, A. G. Császár Nature 2008, 453, 906. Perspectives: a) Cool it, baby. Markku Räsanen Nature 2008, 453, 862–863. b) Watching a Molecular Mole at Work. G. Bucher Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2008, 47, 6957–6958. c) Aus der Traum vom Weltraum? S. Feil Chem. Unserer Zeit 2008, 42, 252. Highlights: a) Houdini molecule escapes energy trap. Simon Hadlington Chemistry World 2008, June 11, p. 23. b) Hydroxymethylene Captured. Bethany Halford Chem. Eng. News 2008, 86 (24), 15. c) Leben eines Organischen Moleküls verlängert. Uta Bilow Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, August 6, 2008, 182, p. N1.
Of note:
  • Gottfried-Wilhelm-Leibniz Award of the German Research Council (DFG, 2024)
  • Arthur C. Cope Scholar Award of the American Chemical Society (2021)
  • Academy Award of the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Science (2020)
  • The Royal Society of Chemistry Physical Organic Chemistry Award (2019/20)
  • Tarrant Distinguished Visiting Professor, U Florida, Gainesville, USA (2019)
  • Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) Invitation Fellowship, Japan (2018)
  • Elected member, Academy of Science and Literature | Mainz (as of 2017)
  • Adolf-von-Baeyer Memorial Medal of the GDCh (2017)
  • Corresponding member, North Rhine-Westphalian Academy of Sciences, Humanities, and the Arts (as of 2015)
  • Elected member, Leopoldina – German National Academy of Science (as of 2013)
  • Science Award of the German Technion (Israel Institute of Technology) Society (2013)
  • Dirac Medal (2003), World Association of Theoretically Oriented Chemists (WATOC)
  • Research Innovation Award (2000), Research Corporation
  • ADUC-Prize for Assistant Professors (1999), German Chemical Society

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