Stefan Hecht - Biography#

Stefan Hecht grew up in Berlin and studied chemistry at Humboldt-Universität from 1992-1997 during which time he performed his Diploma work in the group of William G. Dauben at the University of California, Berkeley, on photochemical rearrangements. He continued there and carried out his doctoral research with Jean M. J. Fréchet in the area of dendritic macromolecules. He started his independent research group at Free University of Berlin and subsequently the Max Planck Institute for Coal Research in Mülheim/Ruhr before accepting a call to Humboldt University of Berlin, where he was full professor from 2006 until 2019. From the summer of 2019 until the end of 2022 he was Scientific Director of the DWI – Leibniz Institute for Interactive Materials and held the Chair of Macromolecular Chemistry at RWTH Aachen University before returning to his alma mater as Einstein Professor and Founding Director of the Center for the Science of Materials Berlin.

His research interests are primarily devoted to the design of functional (macro)molecules and their covalent and non-covalent assemblies with defined dimensions, shape, and properties. Particular focus is on the development and exploitation of photoswitchable units to externally control and drive molecular functions and processes by exploiting the superior spatio-temporal resolution of the light. Current research topics relate to the solar recycling of polymers, opto-biology, optical (bio)computing, and volumetric 3D/4D printing.

He invented xolography with Martin Regehly and together with Dirk Radzinski they founded xolo GmbH currently commercializing their potentially disruptive volumetric 3D printing technology.

Since 2018 he is Associate Editor of the Journal of Organic Chemistry published by the American Chemical Society. He serves on various advisory board to academic institutions, funding agencies, and scientific journals.

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