Carnegie Mellon University Department of Chemistry
photo of Eckard Münck

Eckard Münck

Emeritus Professor

Carnegie Mellon University


Phone: (412) 268-5058

Fax: (412) 268-1061

Office: Mellon Institute 546

group website

Faculty & Research

Eckard Münck

Emeritus Professor

Research Areas

Metalloproteins, bioinorganic models, magnetochemistry, Mössbauer and EPR spectroscopy, theory of transition metal complexes.

High-valent iron complexes

We apply Mössbauer and EPR spectroscopy to study systems of biological relevance. We are particularly interested in high-valent intermediates of catalytic reactions. This line of research has recently resulted in the characterization of a variety of novel Fe(IV)-oxo complexes and the first Fe(V)-oxo complex. The spectroscopic data are analyzed with various quantum chemical methods.


Some of our studies invariably force our attention into magnetochemistry. The unusual magnetic properties of a diiron(I) diketiminate complex, for instance, could only be understood with substantial insights provided by density functional theory, and studies of protein-bound 3Fe-4S clusters led to new insights into magnetochemistry, such as double-exchange and antisymmetric exchange.

Metalloproteins and whole cell Mössbauer studies

We have recently started to extend our studies of isolated proteins to whole E. coli cells and yeast mitochondria.

Education and Appointments
2017–present Emeritus Professor, Carnegie Mellon University
1990–2017 Professor, Carnegie Mellon University
1978–1990 Professor, University of Minnesota
1979–1981 Acting Director, Gray Freshwater Biological Institute, University of Minnesota
1974–1978 Associate Professor of Biochemistry, University of Minnesota
1972–1974 Assistant Professor of Physics/Biochemistry, University of Illinois
1969–1972 Research Assistant Professor, University of Illinois
1967–1969 Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Illinois
1967 PhD, Technical University Darmstadt, Germany
Awards and Distinctions

Alfred Bader Award in Bioinorganic and Bioorganic Chemistry, ACS

1997 Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science
Selected Publications

Stout, H,; Kleespies, S. D.; Chiang, C-W.; Lee, W-Z.; Que, L.; Munck, E.; Bominaar, E.L. “Spectroscopic and Theoretical study of spin-dependent electron transfer in an FeIII superoxo complex”, Inorg. Chem. 2016, 55, 5216–26.

Meier, K.K.; Rogers, M.S.; Kovaleva, E.G.; Lipscomb, J.D.; Münck E.; Bominaar, E.L. “Enzyme Substrate Complex of the H200C Variant of Homoprotocatechuate 2,3-Dioxygenase: Mössbauer and Computational Studies”. Inorg. Chem. 2016, 55, 5862–70.

England, J; Prakash, J.; Cranswick, M.A.; Mandal, D.; Guo, Y.; Münck, E.; Shaik, S.; Que, L. Jr. “Oxoiron(IV) Complex of the Ethylene-Bridged Dialkylcyclam Ligand Me2EBC” Inorg. Chem. 2015, 54, 7828–39.

Prakash, J.; Rohde,G.T.;  Meier, K.K.;  Münck, E.; and  Que, L. Jr.  "Upside Down! Crystallographic and Spectroscopic Characterization of an [FeIV(Osyn)(tetramethylcyclam)]2+ Complex” Inorg. Chem. 2015, 54, 11055–7

Meier, K. K.; Rogers, M.; Kovaleva, E. G.; Bominaar, E.; Lipscomb, J. D.; Münck, E. “A long-lived FeIII(hydroperoxo) intermediate in the active H200C variant of homoprotocatechuate 2,3-dioxygenase: Characterization by Mössbauer, Electron Paramagnetic Resonance, and Density Functional Theory methods.” Inorg. Chem. 2015, 54, 10269–80

Serrano-Plana, J.; Oloo, W. N.; Acosta-Rueda, L. M.; Meier, K. K.; Verdejo, B.; Garcia-Espana, E.; Basallote, M. G.; Münck, E.; Que, Jr., L.; Company, A.; Costas, M. “Trapping a Highly Reactive Non-heme Iron Intermediate That Oxygenates Strong C-H Bonds with Stereoretention.”  J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2015, 137, 15833–42.

Prakash, J.; Rohde, G. T.; Meier, K. K.; Jasniewski, A. J.; Van Heuvelen, K. M.; Münck, E.; Que, Jr., L. “Spectroscopic identification of an Fe(III) center, not Fe(IV), in the crystalline Sc-O-Fe adduct derived from [Fe(IV)(O)(TMC)]2+J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2015, 137, 3478–81.

Biswas, A.N.; Puri, M.;  Meier, K.K.; Oloo, W.N.;  Rohde, G.T.;  Bominaar, E.L.; Munck, E.; Que, Jr.,L. “Modeling TauD-J: A high-spin non-hemeoxoiron (IV) complex that is highly reactive toward C=C and strong C-H bonds” J. Am. Chem Soc. 2015, 137, 2428–31.

Makris, T.M.; Vu, V.V; Meier, K.K.; Komor, A.J.; Rivard, B.S.; Münck, E.; Que, Jr., L.; Lipscomb, J.D. “An Unusual Peroxo Intermediate of the Arylamine Oxygenase of the Chloramphenicol Biosynthetic Pathway”, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2015, 137, 1608–17.

Liu, J.;  Meier, K.K.; Tian, S.; Zhang, J. Guo, H.; Schulz, C.E.; Robinson, H.; Nilges, M.J.; Münck, E.; Yi Lu, Y. “Redesigning an Electron Transfer Protein into a Mononuclear Non-heme Iron Enzyme: Preparation and Study of Fe(II)-M121E Azurin”, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2014, 136, 12337–44.

Chiang, C.-W.; Kleespies, S.T.; Stout, H.D.; Meier, K.K.; Li, P.-Y.; Bominaar, E.L. Que, Jr., L.; Münck, E. and Lee, W.Z. "Characterization of a Paramagnetic Mononuclear Nonheme Iron-Superoxo Complex" J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2014, 136, 10846–49.

England, J.;  Bigelow, J.O.;  Van Heuvelen, K.; Farquhar, E.R.;  Martinho, M.;  Frisch, J.R.; Münck, E.; Que, L., Jr.  “An Ultra-Stable Oxoiron(IV) Complex and its Blue Conjugate Base” , Chem. Sci. 2014, 5, 1204–1215.

Oloo, W.N.; Meier, K.K.; Wang, Y.; Shaik, S.; Münck, E.; Que, L. Jr. “Identification of a low-spoin Fe(III) Acylperoxoiron(III) Intermediate in Bio-inspired non-heme iron catalyzed Oxidations”  Nature Communications 2014, 5, 3046–3054.