Spring ’24 Department Seminars with Prof. Kalina Peneva

Speaker: Prof. Kalina Peneva

Institute of Organic Chemistry and Macromolecular Chemistry, Friedrich Schiller University Jena

Jena, Germany

Date: April 30, Tuesday

Time: 12:30

Place: Zoom


The inexpensive cost, earthly abundance, and chemical tunability of organic photoactive materials make them interesting candidates for molecular artificial photosynthetic systems. Our research focuses on the development and synthesis of organic photosensitizers that are photostable, such as perylene monoimides, for use in photocatalytic water splitting [1,2]. We will present the synthetic approach we have developed to prepare photostable rylene monoimides that can sensitise [Mo3S13]2- clusters in aqueous solution for hydrogen evolution driven by visible light and demonstrate the remarkable influence of the substituents on the nature of the excited state and its longevity upon excitation by visible light. Furthermore, we will demonstrate how the photocatalytic activity of photosensitizers and catalysts can be greatly enhanced by including them into macromolecular templating agents such as soft matter matrices [3,4].


[1] D. Costabel, R. T. D. De, F. Jacobi, J. Eichhorn, K. Hotzel, A. Nabiyan, C. Neumann, A. Turchanin, S. Kupfer, F. H. Schacher, S. Rau, B. Dietzek-Ivansic, K. Peneva, ACS Catalysis 2023, 13, 7159-7169.

[2] D. Costabel, A. Nabiyan, A. Chettri, F. Jacobi, M. Heiland, J. Guthmuller, S. Kupfer, M. Wächtler, B. Dietzek-Ivansic, C. Streb, F. H. Schacher, K. Peneva, ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces 2023, 15, 20833-20842.

[3] G. Knorr, K. Hotzel, A. Chettri, A. Skabeev, M. Wächtler, B. Dietzek-Ivansic, K. Peneva, J Mater Chem A 2023, 11, 23260-23269

[4] D. Kowalczyk, G. Knorr, K. Peneva, D. Ziegenbalg, React Chem Eng 2023, 8, 2941-3212.

Short Biography of the Speaker:

Kalina Peneva studied Chemistry (1999-2004) at the University of Sofia, Bulgaria, where she received her Bachelor and Mater degrees at the Faculty of Chemistry and Pharmacy. Afterwards, she joined the group of Klaus Müllen at the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research in Mainz, where she achieved her PhD in 2008 for her work on water-soluble rylene dyes and their biomedical applications. From 2008 to 2009 she worked on Nucleotide and Protein Recognition Systems at Ciba GmbH in Basel, Switzerland. In 2010 she rejoined the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research working on biohybrid systems and their applications in medicine. From 2011 to 2014 she was a group leader, and her research interests included the design of branched peptides for gene delivery, site-selective modification and labelling of proteins, targeted drug delivery via antibody conjugates as well as structure elucidation of drug-peptide conjugates. In October 2015, she was appointed Professor at the Friedrich Schiller University Jena. Her current research interests include the design and synthesis of photostable chromophores, cationically charged polymers for gene delivery as well light-driven reactions and their utilization in renewable energy sources.