International Year of the Periodic Table of Elements: FAU Scientists put Calcium on the map

The collage shows a sun flower and chemical composition.
Image: Harder Group

This year of the periodic table draws worldwide attention to the chemical elements. The atoms that build-up all matter each have their own fascinating story and scientific meaning. FAU researchers gave the 20th element calcium a face in the interactive periodic table published by the famous Nature publishing group:

Being a major part of limestone, there are certainly no shortages of calcium. Calcium sulfate (gips) or phosphate (a component of baking powder) have always been important bulk chemicals. The research group of Prof. Dr. S. Harder, Chair of Inorganic and Organometallic Chemistry, however, has been pioneering catalysis with organometallic calcium complexes for over two decades, demonstrating that the simple highly abundant metal calcium can do jobs for which normally precious metals like platinum are needed. Their recent paper in Nature Catalysis has been chosen as a prime example in modern calcium chemistry and has been posted as a Nature Research Blog to the scientific community.