Sneha Girap

Karl O Christe

Updated on
Share on FacebookTweet on TwitterShare on LinkedIn
Doctoral advisor  Josef Goubeau
Fields  Chemistry
Name  Karl Christe

Born  Karl Otto Christe July 24, 1936 (age 79) Ulm, Germany (1936-07-24)
Institutions  Loker Hydrocarbon Research Institute, University of Southern California, USC
Known for  Fluorine Chemistry and homoleptic nitrogen compounds
Institution  Loker Hydrocarbon Research Institute, University of Southern California

Notable awards  Tolman Award (2011)
Alma mater  University of Stuttgart

Karl Otto Christe (born July 24, 1936) is an inorganic chemist. He is the best reference in respectful handling of a huge number of extremely reactive components and his extensive experience in fluorine chemistry earned him the title of 'The Fluorine God'. His research covers fluorine chemistry of nitrogen and halogens and the synthesis of new energetic materials. For his research, Christe was most recently awarded the Richard C. Tolman award in 2011.


Karl O. Christe 80th Birthday Karl O Christe ChemViews Magazine ChemistryViews


In 1957 Christe began his chemistry studies at the University of Stuttgart. He prepared both his diploma- (1960) and PhD theses (1961) under the supervision of Josef Goubeau. In 1962 Christe immigrated to the USA and settled in California. He started working as a senior research chemist with Stauffer Chemical Co in Richmond/CA. In 1967 he joined Rocketdyne Division Rockwell International in Canoga Park where he became the manager of research in 1978. In 1994 he accepted split positions between the Air Force Research Laboratory at Edwards Air Force Base and the Loker Hydrocarbon Research Institute of USC. In 2005, he moved full-time to USC where he is working as a research professor.


Since the 1960s, Christe has been investigating the synthesis of new fluorides of nitrogen, halogen, and the halogen oxides, as well as their ions. Notable examples are the syntheses of both NF4+ and ClF6+. On the occasion of the 100th anniversary of Henri Moissan's first production of fluorine, Christe in 1986 reported about the first truly chemical synthesis of fluorine. Another important field of his work covers the research on homoleptic nitrogen compounds for use in energetic materials. In this context, he synthesized the bent pentazenium cation, N5+, and was the first to experimentally detect the cyclic pentazolate anion, N5. Both compounds are considered important milestones on the way to even heavier polynitrogen compounds. In 1996, Christe was the first to propose the use of ionic liquids as energetic materials in propulsion systems. He is currently working on the development of oxidizers to replace the dangerous ammonium perchlorate. Christe has authored over 400 peer-review publications, and has more than 60 patents.


  • 1969: Apollo Achievement Award, NASA
  • 1969: Fluorine Award, American Chemical Society (ACS)
  • 1996: Inorganic Chemistry Award, ACS
  • 1999: Star Team Award, US Air Force
  • 2000: Henri Moissan Award, Institution du Prix Moissan, Paris
  • 2006: Alfred Stock Preis, Gesellschaft Deutscher Chemiker,
  • 2009: Fellow of the European Academy of Sciences, Liege
  • 2010: European Academy of Sciences and Arts, Salzburg
  • 2011: Richard C. Tolman Award, ACS
  • 2015 ACS National Award for Creative Research and Applications of Iodine Chemistry
  • Publications (selection)

  • Guertin, Jacques P.; Christe, Karl O.; Pavlath, Attila E. (1966). "Complex Fluoro Cations. II. Tetrafluoronitrogen(V) Cation, NF4+. Synthesis and Properties of NH4+AsF6". Inorganic Chemistry. 5 (11): 1921–1924. doi:10.1021/ic50045a018. 
  • The hexafluorochlorine (VII) cation, CIF6+, K. O. Christe, Inorg. Nucl. Chem. Lett. 8, 751, (1972)
  • Christe, Karl O. (1973). "Hexafluorochlorine(VII) cation, CIF6+. Synthesis and vibrational spectrum". Inorganic Chemistry. 12 (7): 1580–1587. doi:10.1021/ic50125a021. 
  • Christe, Karl O. (1986). "Chemical synthesis of elemental fluorine". Inorganic Chemistry. 25 (21): 3721–3722. doi:10.1021/ic00241a001. 
  • Christe, Karl O.; Wilson, William W.; Sheehy, Jeffrey A.; Boatz, Jerry A. (1999). "N5+: A Novel Homoleptic Polynitrogen Ion as a High Energy Density Material". Angewandte Chemie International Edition. 38 (13–14): 2004–2009. doi:10.1002/(SICI)1521-3773(19990712)38:13/14<2004::AID-ANIE2004>3.0.CO;2-7. 
  • Vij, Ashwani; Pavlovich, James G.; Wilson, William W.; Vij, Vandana; Christe, Karl O. (2002). "Experimental Detection of the Pentaazacyclopentadienide (Pentazolate) Anion, cyclo-N5". Angewandte Chemie. 114 (16): 3177. doi:10.1002/1521-3757(20020816)114:16<3177::AID-ANGE3177>3.0.CO;2-I. 
  • Jones, C. Bigler; Haiges, Ralf; Schroer, Thorsten; Christe, Karl O. (2006). "Oxygen-Balanced Energetic Ionic Liquid". Angewandte Chemie International Edition. 45 (30): 4981–4984. PMID 16819744. doi:10.1002/anie.200600735. 
  • Christe, Karl O. (2007). "Recent Advances in the Chemistry of N5+, N5 and High-Oxygen Compounds". Propellants, Explosives, Pyrotechnics. 32 (3): 194–204. doi:10.1002/prep.200700020. 
  • References

    Karl O. Christe Wikipedia

    Similar Topics
    Miss Tulip Stays the Night
    Anna Bornhoff
    Sergio Pellizzaro