I joined our company because I immediately liked the interdisciplinary character of the job – chemistry, physics, engineering - and the focus on applications in high-tech industry. I find the process of converting an idea into a commercial product fascinating. This happens in Liquid Crystal research, where a chemical structure drawn on a piece of paper is almost magically converted into a tangible substance by synthesis and ends up as a functional material in an LC-Display.
Organic chemistry comprises a vast body of knowledge and it appears bafflingly complicated to the beginner. However, after a few years of learning, many things fall into place and the logical structure becomes apparent. I enjoy the exciting work culture in R&D at Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, but I am equally inspired by reading research literature, attending conferences and speaking to other scientists.
My curiosity wants to find explanations how things work and how we can gain a better understanding of the world around us. My best ideas often seem to come from nowhere but are in fact the product of a long and subconscious thought process. They may pop into my mind when walking to work in the early morning, but I do not believe in “key eureka” moments. Science, like many other human activities, is more transpiration than inspiration, as Thomas Edison once said.Chemistry will continue to play a very big part in the future of humankind. Be it novel medicines, functional organic materials or concepts for energy storage and conversion.
However, after a few years of learning, many things fall into place and the logical structure becomes apparent.
Director, Liquid Crystal Research
Joined Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany: 1991
Key research fields and topics:
- Organic Synthesis
- Liquid Crystals
- Computational Chemistry
Prizes and awards:
- Honorary Professor, University of Gießen, Germany, 2014
- Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany Innovation Award, 2009
- Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry, 2004
- German Future Prize of the Federal President, 2003
- Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany Innovation Award, 2002
- Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany Liquid Crystals Award, 2001
CV & Scientific activities
Top 10 Publications (Most Cited)
- Nematic liquid crystals for active matrix displays: molecular design and synthesis
P. Kirsch, M. Bremer, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2000, 39, 4216-4235.
- Formation of Tetranuclear Chelate(4-) Ions of Divalent Metals (Mn, Co, Ni) with Idealized T Symmetry by Spontaneous Self-assembly
R. W. Saalfrank, A. Stark, M. Bremer, H.-U. Hummel, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 1990, 29, 311-314.
- Four-Center Two-Electron Bonding in a Tetrahedral Topology. Experimental Realization of Three-Dimensional Homoaromaticity in the 1,3-Dehydro-5,7-adamantanediyl Dication
M. Bremer, P. v. R. Schleyer, K. Schötz, M. Kausch, M. Schindler, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 1987, 26, 761-763.
- The TV in your pocket: development of liquid-crystal materials for the new millennium
M. Bremer, P. Kirsch, M. Klasen-Memmer, K. Tarumi, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2013, 52, 8880-8896.
- Liquid crystals based on hypervalent sulfur fluorides: pentafluorosulfuranyl as polar terminal group
P. Kirsch, M. Bremer, M. Heckmeier, K. Tarumi, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 1999, 38, 1989-1992.
- Difluorooxymethylene‐Bridged Liquid Crystals: A Novel Synthesis Based on the Oxidative Alkoxydifluorodesulfuration of Dithianylium Salts
P. Kirsch, M. Bremer, A. Taugerbeck, T. Wallmichrath, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2001, 40, 1480-1484.
- Relationships in the rotational barriers of all Group 14 ethane congeners H3X-YH3 (X, Y= C, Si, Ge, Sn, Pb). Comparisons of ab initio pseudopotential and all-electron results
P. v. R. Schleyer, M. Kaupp, F. Hampel, M. Bremer, K. Mislow, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 1992, 114, 6791-6797.
- Liquid crystal display device
Y. Nakanishi, M. Shibasaki, K. Hanaoka, Y. Inoue, K. Tarumi, M. Bremer, M. Klasen-Memmer, S. Greenfield,
- Liquid-crystal medium
G. Bernatz, A. Taugerbeck, M. Bremer, A. Götz, US Patent 7,731,865 (2010).
- Nonplanarity in Hueckel 2p aromatic systems. An NMR/IGLO/ab initio proof of the puckered structure of cyclobutadiene dications
M. Bremer, P. v. R. Schleyer, U. Fleischer, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 1989, 111, 1147-1148.