To content
Professorship for Inorganic Chemistry

JProf. Dr. Sebastian Henke

Technische Uni­ver­si­tät Dort­mund
Fakultät für Chemie und Chemische Biologie
Anorganische Chemie
Otto-Hahn-Str. 6
44227 Dort­mund

Room: C2-07-176

Phone: +49 231 755 3976
Fax: +49 231 755 5048

Portrait Sebastian Henke © CCB​/​TU Dort­mund

Welcome to our webpage. We are materials chemists working at the interface of solid-state and molecular chemistry. Our goal is to construct functional materials via a modular approach utilising Werner-type coordination chemistry. By self-assembly of inorganic and organic building units we synthesize extended (2D or 3D) coordination networks (or metal-organic frameworks, MOFs) with interesting chemical and physical properties (porosity, flexibility, disorder, etc.). Ultimately, we want to modulate the functional properties of our materials systematically by chemical principles.

Open Positions

An open PhD position on the crystallography of responsive MOFs (guest- and temperature-driven phase transitions) is available in the Henke group. Please contact Sebastian Henke by email if interested.

Moreover, several exciting research topics in the areas of MOF glasses and flexible MOFs are available for Bachelor and Master theses. 


Exploration Grant of the Boehringer Ingelheim Foundation to investigate the ionic conductivity of MOF glasses

Logo Boehringer-Ingelheim-Stiftung

The Boehringer Ingelheim Foundation funds our project to study the ionic conductivity of MOF glasses. MOF glasses are a new class of nanoporous solids that can be processed in their liquid state, which is a conceptual advantage over the classical crystalline solid electrolytes. For this project we are looking for a talented electrochemist with profound experience in electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (postdoc level) to join our group. Please see the job ad. Applications of interested candidates can be send by email to Sebastian Henke.

Ex­peri­ment! – New grant from the Volkswagen Foundation to explore porous liquids

Logo Volkswagen-Stiftung

The Boehringer Ingelheim Foundation funds our project to study the ionic conductivity of MOF glasses. MOF glasses are a new class of nanoporous solids that can be processed in their liquid state, which is a conceptual advantage over the classical crystalline solid electrolytes. For this project we are looking for a talented electrochemist with profound experience in electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (postdoc level) to join our group. Please see the job ad.  Applications of interested candidates can be send by email to Sebastian Henke.

Chiral Glow - DFG funds our joint research project with the Steffen Group

Grafikiillustration © AK-Henke​/​TU Dort­mund

Within the frame of the DFG priority programme 1928 COORNETs (Coordination Networks: Building Blocks for Functional Systems) we received funding for an exciting collaborative project with the group of Prof. Andreas Steffen. The Steffen and Henke Groups will join forces to utilize specifically designed MOFs as host matrices for chiral organometallic Cu(I) complexes. These chiral compounds can exhibit circularly polarized luminescence (CPL) with a yet to fully explore potential in enantioselective sensors, data storage, (3D-)OLEDs, or ultrafast switching in quantum cryptographical applications. We will follow a specific design strategy to obtain beneficial CPL properties in single crystals, powders and films, and finally employ these new materials in CP-PhOLEDs (circularly polarized phosphorescent organic light-emitting diodes).

EuroMOF 2019 in Paris

Louis Frenzel-Beyme, Pascak Kolodzeiski, Roman Pallach © AK-Henke​/​TU Dort­mund

Louis, Pascal and Roman presented their work on porous sodium organic salts, flexible frameworks and MOF glasses at "EuroMOF 2019 - The 3rd International Conference on Metal Organic Frameworks and Porous Polymers" in Paris. We thank the DFG priority programme 1928 "COORNETs" and the Gesell­schaft Deutscher Chemiker e.V. for their generous support.

Paper Published in JACS: Porous Metal Imidazolate Glasses Can Separate Hydrocarbons

Grafikillustration © AK-Henke​/​TU Dort­mund

Louis’ paper on zeolitic imidazolate framework (ZIF) glasses has just been accepted for publication by JACS. 

Meltable Mixed-Linker Zeolitic Imidazolate Frameworks and Their Microporous Glasses - From Melting Point Engineering to Selective Hydrocarbon Sorption
L. Frentzel-Beyme, M. Kloss, P. Kolodzeiski, R. Pallach, S. Henke*
J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2019, DOI: 10.1021/jacs.9b05558.

We report a synthetic strategy for melting point engineering of crystalline ZIFs. Via a linker mixing approach the melting point of a prototypical ZIF material is decreased to only about 370 °C – a record low for these kind of materials. This sets the stage for the development of lower temperature processing techniques for porous ZIF liquids and glasses. Melting the ZIF crystals followed by cooling the liquid to room temperature yields porous ZIF glasses, which feature pores large enough to adsorb various hydrocarbon gases. Importantly, kinetic sorption profiles indicate that the glasses are able to separate propylene from propane; one of the most important separation problems of the chemical industry.

Spotlight on Elastic Porous Crystals

Logo Diamond Light Source

We are very happy that our Chemical Science Paper on the mechanical-pressure-driven open pore to closed pore phase transitions of a family of zeolitic imidazolate frameworks (ZIFs) has been highlighted in the Annual Review of Diamond Light Source. This work benefited a lot from the world class X-ray diffraction equipment available at beamline I15 of Diamond Light Source.

Annual Report

(see page 60 for our work)

Three Great Theses in 2018

Marvin Kloß, Sebastian Henke, Julia Kuhnt, Stefan Koop © AK-Henke​/​TU Dort­mund

Julia Kuhnt, Marvin Kloß and Stefan Koop performed their Master‘s research projects in our group and successfully defended their theses in 2018. Topics covered range from metal-organic framework glasses and photo-switchable MOFs to hybrid inorganic-organic perovskites. Congratulations and all the best for your future research projects.

Purple, Paramagnetic, Porous - The First Cobalt Imidazolate Glass

Grafikillustration © AK-Henke​/​TU Dort­mund

Louis' and Marvin's paper on a permanently porous cobalt-based zeolitic imidazolate framework glass has just been accepted for publication in the Journal of Materials Chemistry A.

"Porous purple glass - A cobalt imidazolate glass with accessible porosity from a meltable cobalt imidazolate framework"
L. Frentzel-Beyme, M. Kloß, R. Pallach, S. Salamon, H. Moldenhauer, J. Landers, H. Wende, J. Debus, S. Henke*, J. Mater. Chem. A, 2018, DOI: 10.1039/C8TA08016J.

MOF glasses represent a new class of functional materials which might have a number of advantages against their crystalline counterparts. We have developed the very first cobalt-based zeolitic imidazolate framework (ZIF) that can be melted and transformed into a glass. In collaboration with colleagues from the Physics Departments of TU Dort­mund and the University of Duisburg-Essen, we investigated the structural, thermodynamic and magnetic properties of this new material. Importantly, the liquid and glass phases of the ZIF preserve almost 50% of the porosity of the crystalline parent material. This finding might pave the way for the application of liquid and glassy MOFs in gas separation processes and catalysis.

MOF 2018 in Auckland, New Zealand

Roman Pallach, Sebastian Henke, Louis Frentzel-Beyme © AK-Henke​/​TU Dort­mund

Louis, Roman und Sebastian presented the freshest results from the group's research at the 6th International  Conference on Metal-Organic Frameworks & Open Framework Compounds ‘MOF 2018’ in Auckland, New Zealand. It has been a fantastic con­fe­rence with lots of fascinating science, excellent talks and great people. We are looking forward to “EuroMOF 2019" in Paris next year and  ‘MOF 2020’ in Dresden in two years.

DAAD-Travel Grant for Louis Frentzel-Beyme

We are delighted that Louis received a travel grant from the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) to present his work on porous sodium-organic frameworks at the 6th International Conference on Metal-Organic Frameworks & Open Framework Compounds ‘MOF2018’ in Auckland, New Zealand, this year. Great job!.

Funding for Porous Salts

Greafikillustration © AK-Henke​/​TU Dort­mund

Most MOFs are based on di-, tri- or tetravalent metal ions (e.g. Zn2+, Cu2+, Al3+, Zr4+ etc.). Porous frameworks composed of monovalent alkali ions (Li+, Na+, K+) linked by organic anions are rare, however. We are very happy that the DFG decided to fund our project on “Porous Alkali-Organic Frameworks - From Design towards Application”. First examples of these new materials, which can be regarded as porous alkali-organic salts (see Figure), will be reported soon.


Sebastian received a Max-Buchner-Scholarship from DECHEMA for a research project focussing on the utilisation of nanoparticles of flexible MOFs as functional additives for lubrication systems.


Logo Explore Materials Chain

We are part of the EXPLORE Materials Chain (EXMAC) project, which enables us to invite an in­ter­na­tio­nal postdoc to our lab for two weeks (27 October – 14 November 2018).

Within this two-week stay, we will develop a joint research idea and prepare a dedicated proposal for the independent funding of the postdoc. If you are interested to visit our group and work on an exciting project of current materials chemistry please visit our profile on the EXMAC webpage.

Top Download

Our recent paper “Different Breathing Mechanisms in Flexible Pillared-Layered Metal-Organic Frameworks − Impact of the Metal Center”  is among the Top 20 most downloaded articles of Chemistry of Materials in March 2018. 

Paper published in Chemistry of Materials

Grafikillustration © AK-Henke​/​TU Dort­mund

“Different Breathing Mechanisms in Flexible Pillared-Layered Metal-Organic Frameworks − Impact of the Metal Center”

A. Schneemann, P. Vervoorts, I. Hante, M. Tu, S. Wannapaiboon, C. Sternemann, M. Paulus, D. C. F. Wieland, S. Henke*, R. A. Fischer*, Chem. Mater. 2018, DOI: 10.1021/acs.chemmater.7b05052

Flexible metal-organic frameworks expand their extended network structure upon adsorption of gases. We reveal that the mechanism of structure expansion (the so called breathing) can be very different even in isostructural compounds possessing varying divalent metal ions M2+ (i.e. Co2+, Ni2+, Cu2+ or Zn2+). With the help of isothermal gas adsorption measurements and synchrotron X-ray diffraction studies, we revealed that flexible pillared-layered MOFs either switch between discrete phases (M2+ = Cu2+ or Zn2+) or undergo a continuous swelling followed by discontinuous switching (M2+ = Co2+ or Ni2+) upon adsorption of CO2 from the gas phase.

Paper published in Chemical Science

Grafikillustration © AK-Henke​/​TU Dort­mund

“Pore closure in zeolitic imidazolate frameworks under mechanical pressure”

S. Henke*, M. T. Wharmby, G. Kieslich, I. Hante, A. Schneemann, Y. Wu, D. Daisenberger, A. K. Cheetham, Chem. Sci. 2018,9, 1654-1660

In collaboration with colleagues from Diamond Light Source, Cambridge, Munich and Bochum we discovered that zeolitic imidazolate frameworks of the cag topology reversibly switch between an open and a closed pore form in response to mechanical pressure.

Location & approach

The campus of TU Dort­mund University is located close to interstate junction Dort­mund West, where the Sauerlandlinie A 45 (Frankfurt-Dort­mund) crosses the Ruhrschnellweg B 1 / A 40. The best interstate exit to take from A 45 is "Dort­mund-Eichlinghofen" (closer to Campus Süd), and from B 1 / A 40 "Dort­mund-Dorstfeld" (closer to Campus Nord). Signs for the uni­ver­si­ty are located at both exits. Also, there is a new exit before you pass over the B 1-bridge leading into Dort­mund.

To get from Campus Nord to Campus Süd by car, there is the connection via Vogelpothsweg/Baroper Straße. We recommend you leave your car on one of the parking lots at Campus Nord and use the H-Bahn (suspended monorail system), which conveniently connects the two campuses.

TU Dort­mund University has its own train station ("Dort­mund Uni­ver­si­tät"). From there, suburban trains (S-Bahn) leave for Dort­mund main station ("Dort­mund Hauptbahnhof") and Düsseldorf main station via the "Düsseldorf Airport Train Station" (take S-Bahn number 1, which leaves every 20 or 30 minutes). The uni­ver­si­ty is easily reached from Bochum, Essen, Mülheim an der Ruhr and Duisburg.

You can also take the bus or subway train from Dort­mund city to the uni­ver­si­ty: From Dort­mund main station, you can take any train bound for the Station "Stadtgarten", usually lines U41, U45, U 47 and U49. At "Stadtgarten" you switch trains and get on line U42 towards "Hombruch". Look out for the Station "An der Palmweide". From the bus stop just across the road, busses bound for TU Dort­mund University leave every ten minutes (445, 447 and 462). Another option is to take the subway routes U41, U45, U47 and U49 from Dort­mund main station to the stop "Dort­mund Kampstraße". From there, take U43 or U44 to the stop "Dort­mund Wittener Straße". Switch to bus line 447 and get off at "Dort­mund Uni­ver­si­tät S".

The H-Bahn is one of the hallmarks of TU Dort­mund University. There are two stations on Campus Nord. One ("Dort­mund Uni­ver­si­tät S") is directly located at the suburban train stop, which connects the uni­ver­si­ty directly with the city of Dort­mund and the rest of the Ruhr Area. Also from this station, there are connections to the "Technologiepark" and (via Campus Süd) Eichlinghofen. The other station is located at the dining hall at Campus Nord and offers a direct connection to Campus Süd every five minutes.

The AirportExpress is a fast and convenient means of transport from Dort­mund Airport (DTM) to Dort­mund Central Station, taking you there in little more than 20 minutes. From Dort­mund Central Station, you can continue to the uni­ver­si­ty campus by interurban railway (S-Bahn). A larger range of in­ter­na­tio­nal flight connections is offered at Düsseldorf Airport (DUS), which is about 60 kilometres away and can be directly reached by S-Bahn from the uni­ver­si­ty station.

The facilities of TU Dort­mund University are spread over two campuses, the larger Campus North and the smaller Campus South. Additionally, some areas of the uni­ver­si­ty are located in the adjacent "Technologiepark".

Site Map of TU Dort­mund University (Second Page in English).