Günther Wilke

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Günther Wilke
Born (1925-02-23)23 February 1925
Heidelberg, Germany
Died 9 December 2016(2016-12-09) (aged 91)
Nationality German
Fields inorganic chemistry
Institutions Max Planck Institute for Coal Research
Known for Organo-Nickel Chemistry
Notable awards Willard Gibbs Award (1991)
Wilhelm Exner Medal (1980).[1]

Günther Wilke (23 February 1925 – 9 December 2016) was a German chemist who was influential in organometallic chemistry. He was the director of the Max Planck Institute for Coal Research (Max-Planck-Institut für Kohlenforschung) from 1967–1992, succeeding Karl Ziegler in that post.[2] During Wilke’s era, the MPI made several discoveries and achieved some financial independence from patents and a gift from the Ziegler family. The institute continued as a center of excellence in organometallic chemistry.

Wilke’s own area of interest focused on homogeneous catalysis by nickel complexes. His group discovered or developed several compounds including Ni(1,5-cyclooctadiene)2, Ni(allyl)2, Ni(C2H4)3. Some of these complexes are useful catalysts for the oligomerization of dienes.[3] He died in 2016 at the age of 91.[4]

Wilke is credited with the discovery of bis(cyclooctadiene)nickel(0), a useful homogeneous catalyst.

Honours and awards[edit]


  1. ^ a b Editor, ÖGV. (2015). Wilhelm Exner Medal. Austrian Trade Association. ÖGV. Austria.
  2. ^ {http://www.kofo.mpg.de/de/institut/geschichte History of the Max-Planck-Institure (German)]
  3. ^ Wilke, G. (1988). "Contributions to Organo-Nickel Chemistry". Angewandte Chemie International Edition in English. 27: 185–206. doi:10.1002/anie.198801851. 
  4. ^ "Günther Wilke (1925 – 2016)". Chemistryviews.org. 13 December 2016. Retrieved 18 December 2016. 
  5. ^ "Professor Dr. rer. nat., Dr. Eh., Dr. h.c. mult. Günther Wilke". Nordrhein-Westfälischen Akademie der Wissenschaften. Archived from the original on 24 March 2016. 
  6. ^ "G.W. Wilke". Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences. Archived from the original on 14 February 2016. Retrieved 14 February 2016. 

See also: http://www.mpi-muelheim.mpg.de/kofo/english/institut/geschichte_e.html