OREANDA-NEWS. Alexander Filippou, Professor of Inorganic Chemistry at the University of Bonn, Germany, received the 2016 WACKER Silicone Award. The award was presented yesterday evening at the eighth European Silicon Days in Poznań, Poland. The Munich-based chemical group thereby recognizes Filippou’s groundbreaking work in the field of organosilicon chemistry. This includes isolation of a transition metal complex with a metal-silicon triple bond and synthesis of a stable silanone with a silicon-oxygen double bond. Filippou’s work is also important to industry, for example for developing catalysts or silicones with novel combinations of properties. The WACKER Silicone Award, which includes €10,000 prize money, ranks alongside the American Chemical Society’s Kipping Award as the most important international accolade in organosilicon chemistry.

In his speech, Robert Gnann, head of the WACKER SILICONES business division, praised Filippou as a researcher, who, with his achievements, has had a lasting influence on silicon chemistry. “Through his work, basic research has been given a new impetus, which is also to the benefit of the industry.”

Filippou’s research focuses include triple bonds between transition metals and elements of the carbon group, as well as stable molecules of the elements silicon, germanium, tin and lead in their low oxidation states. Among his groundbreaking achievements were the isolation of a transition metal complex with a metal-silicon triple bond and thus of a silicon analog of a transition metal alkylidene complex (2010) and the synthesis of a stable silanone with a silicon-oxygen double bond (2014) and of a phosphasilenylidene with a silicon-phosphorus double bond (2015). “The chemistry developed by Professor Filippou and his team is of great importance both as regards catalysis and for an understanding of certain industrial processes. It may even be possible, one day, to develop silicones with new property profiles,” said Gnann.

Professor Alexander Filippou, born in the city of Thessaloniki, Northern Greece, in 1958, began studying chemistry at the Technical University of Munich in 1976. In 1984 he gained his doctorate with the Nobel laureate Professor Ernst Otto Fischer with a dissertation on “New pathways of synthesis of anionic ketene and carbyne complexes of 16 Group elements through neutral-substituted carbyne-carbonyl compounds.” He obtained his habilitation in 1992 on “metal-centered coupling reactions of C1 ligands”. Filippou was subsequently a Professor of Inorganic Chemistry at Humbold University of Berlin for twelve years. Since 2005, he has been a lecturer and researcher at the University of Bonn. In 2007, he was appointed director of the university’s Institute of Inorganic Chemistry.