Research Group of
Denis Gebauer

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Dr. Denis Gebauer (Group Leader)

Professional Career

since 07/2014

Member of the executive board of the Graduate School Chemistry (Dept. of Chemistry, University of Konstanz)


since 03/2014

Research Fellow of the Zukunftskolleg of the University of Konstanz

since 01/2011

Habilitand (assistant professor), Physical Chemistry, University of Konstanz



Member of the Management Committee of the COST action TD0903 "Understanding and manipulating enzymatic and proteomic processes in biomineralization - towards new biomimetic strategies, the creation of tailored nano-scale architectures and environmental monitoring"



Postdoctoral Fellow of the Zukunftskolleg of the University of Konstanz



PostDoc, Stockholms Universitet, Department of Inorganic, Physical and Structural Chemistry (renamed 01/2010, Department of Materials and Environmental Chemistry) with Dr. Niklas Hedin, Dr. Mattias Edén and Prof. Dr. Lennart Bergström



Member of scientific staff, Max-Planck-Institute of Colloids and Interfaces



Ph-D in Physical Chemistry at the University of Potsdam (Magna cum Laude) with Prof. Dr. Dr. Markus Antonietti and Prof. Dr. Helmut Cölfen (carried out at the Max-Planck-Institute of Colloids and Interfaces, Department Colloid Chemistry, Potsdam-Golm): "A Novel View on the Early Stage of Crystallization" [download].



Diploma in Biochemistry, Leibniz Universität Hannover



Awards, Prizes and Scholarships


Research Fellow of the Zukunftskolleg (University of Konstanz)



Postdoctoral Fellow of the Zukunftskolleg (University of Konstanz) 



Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Prize (DFG press release



Poster Prize, “Amorphous Calcium Carbonate: Structural Preformation in Transient Precursors”, poster session two,  Euromat 2009, European Congress and Exhibition on Advanced Materials and Processes, 07.09.-10.09.2009, Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre, Glasgow, UK 



Michelson Prize for the best dissertation of 2008/2009, with excellent achievements in the scientific field of Physical Chemistry, 26.06.2009, Mathematical-Natural Scientific School, University of Potsdam, Germany



Scholarship for postdoctoral research at Stockholm University, granted by the Wenner-Gren Foundations, Stockholm, Sweden



Poster prize, “Calcium Carbonate Clusters: A Novel Species Important in CaCO3 Precipitation”, The 21st Conference on Crystal Growth and Epitaxy – West, 08.06.–11.06.2008, Stanford Sierra Camp, Fallen Leaf Lake, CA, USA


Lectures and Invited Talks


"Nucleation-Inspired Materials Chemistry", "Advances in Materials" Seminars, Institute of Materials, École Polytechnique Fédérale De Lausanne (EPFL), Lausanne (Switzerland), 20.02.2017



Lecture "Nucleation", CRC 1109 Summer School 2016, Metal Oxides & Water, Nucleation, Reactivity, and Growth, Berlin (Germany), 22.-25.08.2016 

"On the Role of Pre-Nucleation Clusters in Crystallization", 18th International Conference on Crystal Growth and Epitaxy (ICCGE18), session "Organic and Biological Crystallization (G05)", Nagoya (Japan), 7.-12.08.2016

Three 90 minutes lectures; "The pre-nucleation cluster pathway", "Non-classical crystallization and mesocrystals", "Biomineralization and biomimetics", Summer School on Crystal Nucleation, organized by Prof. Joop ter Horst for the "EFCE Working Party for Crystallization", University of Strathclyde, Glasgow (UK), 20.-24.06.2016"

"Pre-nucleation Clusters in Mineralization", Anorganisch-chemisches Kolloquium, Institut für Anorganische und Analytische Chemie, Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg, 21st January 2016 (invited talk).

"On the pre-nucleation cluster pathway", Crystallisation Down Under 2016 — A Molecular Scale Understanding of Crystal Growth, Curtin University (Nanochemistry Research Institute and Leverhulme Trust), Perth, Western Australia (Australia), 11th-12th January 2016 (invited talk).



"On the pre-nucleation cluster pathway", International Chemical Congress of the Pacific Basin Societies (PacifiChem), Honolulu, Hawaii (USA), 15th-20th December 2015 (invited talk).


"Formation of Biominerals: On the Pre-nucleation Cluster Pathway & the Multiple Roles of Additives", Symposium on Colloids and Surfaces in Biology and Biomaterials, Uppsala University, Uppsala (Sweden), 4th-6th November 2015 (invited talk).


"On the Pre-nucleation Cluster Pathway", Nanocem Workshop on Nucleation and Growth, Research Center of Lafarge, Saint-Quentin, Lyon (France), 1st October 2015 (invited talk).


"Pre-nucleation Clusters as Solute Precursors in Phase Separation", 20th American Conference on Crystal Growth and Epitaxy (ACCGE-20) and 17th U.S. Biennial Workshop on Organometallic Vapor Phase Epitaxy (OMVPE-17) and The Second 2D Electronic Materials Symposium, Big Sky, Montana (USA), 2nd-7th August 2015 (invited talk).


"On the Pre-nucleation Cluster Pathway of Mineral Formation", Kristallographisches Oberseminar, Fakultät für Geowissenschaften, Departement für Geo- und Umweltwissenschaften, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, Munich (Germany), 29th May 2015 (invited talk).


"Pre-nucleation clusters as molecular precursors to nanoscopic liquid-liquid demixing", European Geosciences Union General Assembly 2015, Vienna (Austria), 15th April 2015 (invited talk).




"Mechanisms of Nucleation", International Biomineralization Short-Course, Organized by MATISSE Laboratory of Excellence, CNRS & UPMC, Universite Pierre et Marie Curie, Paris (France), 1st - 4th December 2014 (invited lecture).


"Recent Insights into the Pre-nucleation Cluster Pathway", International Workshop, "The Granada - Münster Discussion Meeting On Crystal Growth and Biomineralization", Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster, Münster (Germany), 27th - 28th November 2014 (invited talk).


"Advanced Nanohybrids of Calcium Carbonate and Cellulose", Kick-off Meeting of the Research Consortium "Bio-inspired Materials Synthesis" of the Baden-Württemberg Stiftung gGmbH, Stuttgart (Germany), 23rd October 2014 (invited talk).


"Taking Advantage of Amorphous Mineral Precursors in Bio-inspired Syntheses", Hiroaki Imai Group Seminar, Keio University, Tokyo (Japan), 10th October 2014 (invited talk).


"The Pre-nucleation Cluster Pathway of Mineral Formation", International Workshop: New Frontiers in Biomineral Formation Research: From Pre-nucleation Clusters to the Final Crystal, Hokkaido University (Organizer: Jun Kawano), Sapporo (Japan), 7th - 9th October 2014 (invited keynote lecture).


"The Decisive Role of Water in the Pre-Nucleation Cluster Pathway", CECAM Workshop "Molecular-level understanding of nucleation", CECAM Headquarters at EPFL, Lausanne (Switzerland), 23rd - 25th June 2014 (invited talk).


"The Pre-nucleation Cluster Pathway and the Role of Water", Workshop on "Nucleation and Early Stages of Particle Formation", Cluster of Excellence Engineering of Advanced Materials (EAM), Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU); with Institute of Particle Technology (LFG, Erlangen), Research Training Group 1161 (Disperse Systems for Electronic Applications) Erlangen, Computer Chemistry Center (CCC) Erlangen, and the University of Konstanz, 5th-6th June 2014 (invited talk).


"Pre-nucleation Clusters as Solute Precursors in Crystallization", E-MRS Spring Meeting, Lille (France), 26th - 30th May 2014 (invited talk).


"How Do Minerals Form from Aqueous Solution?", 6th Indo-German Frontiers of Engineering Symposium 2014, Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, Potsdam (Germany), 22nd - 25th May 2014 (invited, flash talk with poster).


"Mineral precursors in bio-inspired syntheses", Sino-German Symposium on Bioinspired Materials Science and Engineering (Technical University Munich, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, sponsored by the Sino-German Center for Research Promotion), Wuhan (China), 11th -15th May 2014 (invited talk).


"Pre-nucleation Clusters as Solute Precursors in Crystallization", MULTIMAT Seminar, ETH Zürich (Switzerland), 28th March 2014 (invited talk).



"Toward a Better Understanding of Biomineralization? - Prenucleation Clusters, Liquid Precursors and Polyamorphism", Seminarreihe des Instituts für Materialchemie der Technischen Universität Wien, Vienna (Austria), 13th December 2013 (invited talk).


"The Early Stages of Crystallization — Polyamorphism, Prenucleation Clusters, and Polymorph Selection", BACG (British Association of Crystal Growth) Annual Conference, Manchester (UK), 16th - 18th June 2013 (invited keynote lecture).


"The Role of Prenucleation Clusters during (Bio)mineral Nucleation", 17th International Conference on Crystal Growth and Epitaxy (ICCGE-17), Warsaw (Poland), 11th - 16th August 2013 (invited talk). 



"Nucleation Mechanisms of Biominerals", AC Kolloquium Wintersemester 2011/12, Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel, Kiel (Germany), 17th January 2012 (invited talk).


"Towards an understanding of the non-classical nucleation of CaCO3", symposium "18b. Nucleation, Growth, and Dissolution in Aqueous Environments: Elementary Processes and Atomistic Models", 22nd V.M. Goldschmidt Conference, Montréal (Canada), 24th - 29th June 2012 (invited talk).


"A Novel View on the Early Stages of Crystallization: Calcium Carbonates and Calcium Phosphates", 9th Japanese-German Frontiers of Science Symposium 2012, Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, Potsdam (Germany), 25th - 28th October 2012 (invited, flash talk with poster).


"Prenucleation clusters and calcium carbonate polyamorphism", emc2012, session 11a "Biologic mineralization and biomimetic model systems", Frankfurt (Germany), 2nd - 6th September 2012 (invited talk).


"Recent Insights Into the Prenucleation Cluster Pathway", AGU Fall Meeting, session B048 "Nucleation, Growth and Aggregation of Mineral Particles in Geochemical Systems", San Francisco (USA), 3rd - 7th December 2012 (invited talk).



"The Multiple Roles of Additives during Crystallisation of Calcium Carbonate", Workshop of COST Action TD0903 Understanding and Manipulating Enzymatic and Proteomic Processes in Biomineralisation, The University of Newcastle upon Tyne (England), 12th - 14th January 2011 (invited talk).


"Prenucleation Clusters", session GMPV25 Progress in crystal growth and dissolution, European Geosciences Union General Assembly 2011, Vienna (Austria), 3rd - 8th April 2011 (oral session cancelled).


"Nucleation of Calcium Carbonate", International School on Biological Crystallization, Granada (Spain), 22nd - 26th May 2011.


"Nucleation of Biominerals", Specialized iNANO Lecture, Faculty of Science, Aarhus University, Aarhus (Denmark), 17th June 2011.


"From Distinct Short-Range Structures in Amorphous Calcium Carbonate to its Application in Syntheses of Functional Materials", Tenth International Conference on Materials Chemistry (MC10), Manchester (U.K.), 5th July 2011 (invited talk).


"Bioinspired Mineralizations", NANO GOES BIO, Nanotechniques to Reveal the Bioworld, workshop of the TU Dresden, Graduiertenkolleg Nano- und Biotechniken für das Packaging elektronischer Systeme (DFG 1401/1), Dresden (Germany), 15th November 2011 (invited talk).


"Prenucleation Clusters and Non-classical Nucleation", session NN: Nucleation and Growth of Biological and Biomimetic Materials, 2011 Fall Material Research Society (MRS) Meeting, Boston (USA), 28th November - 2nd December 2011 (invited talk).





Further Conference Contributions


"The molecular mechanism of iron(III) oxide nucleation", Goldschmidt 2016, Yokohama, Japan (talk).



"Sweet on biomineralization: effects of carbohydrates on the early stages of calcium carbonate crystallization", BiominXIII — 13th International Symposium on Biomineralization, Granada, Spain (talk).



"Towards a Phase Diagram of CaCO3 Amorphous Polymorphism", Goldschmidt 2014, Sacramento, California, USA (talk).



"Nucleation of Calcium Carbonate", Ringberg Symposium "Generation of Inorganic Functional Materials - Implementation of Biomineralization Principles", Schloss Ringberg (Germany), 30th September - 3rd October 2012 (poster). 



"The Prenucleation Cluster Pathway", Workshop of COST Action TD0903 Understanding and Manipulating Enzymatic and Proteomic Processes in Biomineralisation, Aarhus University (Denmark), 18th -20th September 2012 (talk). 



"The influence of additives during CaCO3 Crystallization: From pre-nucleation to post-nucleation stages", Faraday Discussions 159: Crystallization - A Biological Perspective, Leeds Metropolitan University, Leeds, UK (poster). 



"Proto-crystalline Structures in Amorphous Calcium Carbonate, or: Prenucleation Clusters & Non-classical Nucleation", CECAM workshop: Grand Challenges in Understanding Interfaces Between Hard and Soft Matter, EPFL, Lausanne, Switzerland (talk). 



"Prenucleation Clusters and Distinct Structures in Amorphous Calcium Carbonates", 2011 DFG-NSF Research Conference Bioinspired Design and Engineering of Novel Functional Materials, New York, U.S.A. (poster). 



"Proto-Calcite and Proto-Vaterite in Amorphous Calcium Carbonates", Gordon Research Conference Biomineralization, Colby-Sawyer College, New London, U.S.A. (poster).



"Amorphous Calcium Carbonate: Structural Preformation in Transient Precursors", 9th Annual Surface and Colloid Symposium, Kårhuset, Lund, Sweden (poster).



“Amorphous Calcium Carbonate: Structural Preformation in Transient Precursors”, Euromat 2009, European Congress and Exhibition on Advanced Materials and Processes, Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre, Glasgow, U.K. (oral poster).



“Calcium Carbonate Clusters: A Novel Species Important in CaCO3 Precipitation”, The 21st Conference on Crystal Growth and Epitaxy – West, Stanford Sierra Camp, Fallen Leaf Lake, U.S.A. (poster).



"Stable Ionic Clusters: The Eminent Species in Calcium Carbonate Precipitation", Minerva School on Biological and Bio-inspired Materials, Harnack Haus Berlin, Germany (poster).



"Retrosynthesis of Nacre", 3. Berichtskolloquium "Prinzipien der Biomineralisation" des Schwerpunktprogramms 1117 der DFG, Katholisch-Soziales Institut Bad Honnef, Germany (talk).