Wolfgang Domcke

Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Dr. h.c.

Deputy Ombudsperson, TUM

Former Professor of Theoretical Chemistry
TUM School of Natural Sciences

born 1948


Interview with TUM Emeritus of Excellence Wolfgang Domcke

"My life is governed by science and sports"

For Wolfgang Domcke no goal is too challenging, neither in the areas of Physics or Chemistry, nor in Sports. As an Emeritus he still conducts frontier research at TUM, unless he is out and about on his mountain bike. [read more]


Prof. Domcke's research focuses on the calculation of photoinduced chemical dynamics of polyatomic molecules. The methods comprise the ab initio calculation of electronic potential energy areas, the description of quantum mechanical wave packet dynamics as well as molecular spectra, especially time-resolved spectra of ultrafast photochemical processes. The main questions are the understanding of the photostability of biological molecules and the elementary processes of splitting water with sunlight. After studying physics and obtaining his doctorate in theoretical physics at the TUM, he habilitated at the Faculty of Physics of the University of Freiburg i. Br. After a stay abroad at the California Institute of Technology he was Professor (C2) for Theoretical Chemistry at the University of Heidelberg, Professor (C3) at the TUM (1986 - 1995) and Professor (C4) at the Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf. From 1999 - 2013 he held the chair of Theoretical Chemistry at the TUM. Prof. Domcke is a member of the International Academy of Quantum Molecular Science, Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry and an external member of the Polish Academy of Sciences. Approx. 420 scientific Publications, Hirsch Index 75 (2017).


Short biography

1972 Diploma in Physics, TU Munich
1972-1975 Doctorate (Dr. rer. nat.) in Theoretical Physics, scientific assistant at the chair, TU Munich
1976- 1979 Habilitation in theoretical Physics, Albert-Ludwigs-University, Freiburg
1982 Research stay as a DFG scholarship holder, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena
1982 – 1986 Professor for theoretical Chemistry, Ruprecht-Karls-University Heidelberg
1986 – 1995 Professor for physical and theoretical chemistry, TU Munich
1996 – 1999 Professor for theoretical Chemistry, Heinrich-Heine-University, Düsseldorf
1999 – 2013 Professor for theoreticale Cehmistry, TU Munich
seit 2022 Deputy Ombudsperson, TU Munich


Memberships and honors

Member of the International Academy of Quantum Molecular Science

Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry

External member of the Polish Academy of Sciences



  •  The Löwdin Lectures, University Uppsala (2007) 
  •  Copernicus Award (2008) 
  •  Honorary doctorate of the Karls-Universtiy in Prag (2012)


Key publications

Ehrmaier J, Karsili TNV, Sobolewski AL, Domcke W: „Mechanism of photocatalytic water splitting with graphitic carbon nitride: Photochemistry of the heptazine-water complex”. J. Phys. Chem. A 2017; 121: 4754

Explanations of prizes and awards can be found here [pdf to download 215 KB].