Iron is a versatile, ubiquitous, cheap and sustainable transition metal with unique properties and high reactivity. Changes in the local environment modulate the intrinsic properties. In most environments, a broad variety of oxidation and spin states is easily accessible. On one hand, this can result in unfavourable or undesirable properties, on the other hand a change in the environment can be used to improve the reactivity in a targeted manner.
aims at manipulating iron’s environment in such a way that it becomes a selective, versatile and valuable substitute for rare, toxic or critical metals. Three phases are envisioned: (1) Understand Iron, (2) Tune Iron, (3) Optimize Iron. In the first four years, the basic properties of iron and their dependence on the environment will be explored. In the second phase, strategies for a targeted tuning of the coordination sphere will be developed and tested. In the third phase, iron will be optimized with respect to specific properties and an improved stability, selectivity or reactivity. We further aim at transferring new or improved concepts to other 3d-elements. The CRC initiative Iron, upgraded!