Dennis Hetterscheid, Dr.

  • Assistant Professor (tenure track)

Telephone number
+31 (0)71 527 4545
Fax number
+31 (0)71 527 4451
E-mail address
Faculty of Science, Leiden Institute of Chemistry, Catalysis and Surface Chemistry
Office address
Gorlaeus Laboratories
Einsteinweg 55
2333 CC Leiden
roomnumber EE.4.19


Since February 2013: Assistant professor (tenure track) position in Physical Chemistry of Sustainable Energy at Leiden University.
2009 – 2013: Postdoc & Independent Researcher at the University of Amsterdam in the group of Professor Reek.
2006 – 2008: Postdoctoral fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the group of Professor Schrock
2002 – 2006:  PhD at the Radboud University Nijmegen in the group of Professor De Bruin.

Research theme
The main research theme in my group is to understand and mimic bioinorganic multi-electron processes such as H+, CO2, N2 and O2 reduction and H2O oxidation, and to apply these chemical transformations in electrochemical and photochemical “devices” for e.g. solar energy to fuel utilization. As part of this research, new iridium water oxidation catalysts have been developed using pentamethylcyclopentadienyl and N-heterocyclic carbene ligands. These iridium catalysts proved to be very efficient both in solution as well as upon spontaneous absorption on electrodes allowing for rapid electrochemical production of O2 and H2 (in combination with a platinum H+ reduction catalyst). In combination with various photosensitizers of appropriate redox strength, water oxidation was also demonstrated in a fully light driven approach. Currently, progress is being made to immobilize these catalysts on (semi)conducting surfaces and implementation of these water oxidation catalysts in prototype solar energy to fuel conversion devices. Since iridium is a relatively expensive material focus at the moment is being shifted to the more abundant first row transition metals.

The research is carried out both in the MCBIM and CASC research groups of Leiden University