Institution name and department

Universität Innsbruck, Institut für Ionenphysik und Angewandte Physik

Position held





Technikerstrasse 25, 6020 Innsbruck, Austria



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Key words 


Atomic force microscopy

Mechanistic studies


Single molecule force spectroscopy



Covalent mechanochemistry



Areas of Research/Expertise

 We are interested in the quantitative description of mechanochemical bond activation. To this end, we perform single molecule force spectroscopy of covalently anchored polymers by atomic force microscopy and determine unimolecular reaction rate coefficients for bond rupture events as a function of force and temperature. Quantum chemical methods like COGEF or EFEI are used to describe and simulate experimental data. We have investigated in detail the stability of covalent anchors on silanized glass surfaces, mechanophores like cyclopropane, and the mechanochemistry of the peptide/amide bond. We are also interested in the change of spectroscopic properties of stretched molecules. In this field, quantum chemical description is relatively straightforward, while experiments are extremely difficult. 

5 Most representative publications related to mechanochemistry

1.   M. F. Pill, A. L. L. East, D. Marx, M. K. Beyer, H. Clausen-Schaumann: Mechanical activation drastically accelerates amide bond hydrolysis, matching enzyme activity. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 58, 9787-9790 (2019). DOI: 10.1002/anie.201902752 ; Angew. Chem. 131, 9890-9894 (2019). DOI: 10.1002/ange.201902752

2.   M. S. Sammon, M. Ončák, M. K. Beyer: Theoretical simulation of the infrared signature of mechanically stressed polymer solids. Beilstein J. Org. Chem. 13, 1710-1716 (2017). DOI: 10.3762/bjoc.13.165

3.   M. F. Pill, K. Holz, N. Preußke, F. Berger, H. Clausen-Schaumann, U. Lüning, M. K. Beyer: Mechanochemical Cycloreversion of Cyclobutane Observed at the Single Molecule Level. Chem. Eur. J.  22, 12034-12039 (2016). DOI: 10.1002/chem.201600866

4.   D. Schütze, K. Holz, J. Müller, M.K. Beyer, U. Lüning, B. Hartke: Pinpointing Mechanochemical Bond Rupture by Embedding the Mechanophore into a Macrocycle. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 54, 2556-2559 (2015). DOI: 10.1002/anie.201409691 ; Angew. Chem. 127, 2587-2590 (2015). DOI: 10.1002/ange.201409691

5.   M. K. Beyer, H. Clausen-Schaumann: Mechanochemistry: The Mechanical Activation of Covalent Bonds. Chem. Rev. 105, 2921-2948 (2005). DOI: 10.1021/cr030697h

5 Most representative publications non-related to Mechanochemistry 

6.   A. Herburger, E. Barwa, M. Ončák, J. Heller, C. van der Linde, D. M. Neumark, M. K. Beyer: Probing the Structural Evolution of the Hydrated Electron in Water Cluster Anions (H2O)n, n ≤ 200, by Electronic Absorption Spectroscopy. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 141, 18000-18003 (2019). DOI: 10.1021/jacs.9b10347

7.   M. Ončák, T. Taxer, E. Barwa, C. van der Linde, M. K. Beyer: Photochemistry and Spectroscopy of Small Hydrated Magnesium Clusters Mg+(H2O)n, n = 1–5. J. Chem. Phys. 149, 044309 (2018). DOI: 10.1063/1.5037401

8.   N. K. Bersenkowitsch, M. Ončák, C. van der Linde, A. Herburger, M. K. Beyer: Photochemistry of glyoxylate embedded in sodium chloride clusters, a laboratory model for tropospheric sea-salt aerosols. Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys. 20, 8143-8151 (2018). DOI: 10.1039/c8cp00399h

9.   J. Lengyel, C. van der Linde, M. Fárník, M. K. Beyer: Reaction of CF2Cl2 with Gas-Phase Hydrated Electrons. Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys. 18, 23910-23915 (2016). DOI: 10.1039/C6CP01976E

10.       A. Akhgarnusch, R. F. Höckendorf, M. K. Beyer: Thermochemistry of the Reaction of SF6 with Gas Phase Hydrated Electrons: a Benchmark for Nanocalorimetry. J. Phys. Chem. A 119, 9978-9985 (2015). DOI: 10.1021/acs.jpca.5b06975

Orcid ID/ Google Scholar/ Researchgate/ Scopus profiles

Orcid ID

Google Scholar


Scopus profiles


Twitter/ Linkedin/ Instagram accounts





Instagram accounts


Primary focus in mechanochemical research 

·       Single molecule force spectroscopy

·       Covalent mechanochemistry

·       Mechanophore properties

·       Quantum chemical description of mechanochemical reactions


Contact Info

  • Université de Montpellier & Institut Charles Gerhardt de Montpellier (UMR 5253)
    c/o 8, Rue de l’Ecole Normale
    34296 Montpellier, Cedex 5 (France)

  • +33 (0)4 67 14 43 10
  • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

COST Overview


EU COST is supported by the EU Framework Programme Horizon 2020.



COST Action CA18112