ANTECEDENTS: 1956 – 1972
Laboratory of Inorganic Chemistry of the Czechoslovak Academy od Sciences (ČSAV) was established in April 1, 1956 under the leadership of Prof. Albert Regner, head of the Department of Inorganic Technology of the Institute of Chemical Technology in Prague. The Laboratory was first placed in that Department and shared its employees. They brought their basic research topics: study of the heterogeneous inorganic catalytic processes and processes of technical electrochemistry. The scope was later extended to study of liquid-to-gas phase transition and inorganic homogeneous catalysis in solutions. Since January 1, 1959 the Laboratory was converted to the Institute of Inorganic Chemistry CAS. Its individual teams were stepwise allocated in various temporary rooms in Prague 6 and 8 and since 1971 they were mostly focused in the Pellé Street in Prague 6 (formerly Majakovský Street).
Laboratory of Inorganic Syntheses CAS was established in 1961 in Řež, since 1955 the location of the Institute of Nuclear Physics. Since 1965 the institution was renamed to the Institute of Inorganic Syntheses CAS. The first research task of the workplace was synthesis of rocket fuels based on hydrids of light elements (Li, Na, Mg, B, Al). Beside the development of technologies of these materials also certain deuterides were prepared. Although the idea to use those hydrids was not successful, but it evoked to the genesis of a novel branch of inorganic chemistry – chemistry of boranes (boron clusters) and also to the development of complex aluminium hydrides, which found their broad scale industrial application.
AFTER MERGE IN 1972
In 1972 the workplaces merged to Institute of Inorganic Chemistry. The research groups of electrochemistry, heterogenous and homogeneous catalysis and crystallization were placed in the Majakovský Street in Prague 6 (now Pellé Street), the groups of boron and aluminium chemistry were in Řež. The main topics of the “Prague part” was technical electrochemistry (design of electrodes for hydrogen evolution and ion intercalation to inorganic solids), thermodynamic equilibria in liquids and processes in crystallisation of technically interesting solids (inorganic salts), chemical reactions of singlet oxygen in homogenous catalysis, heterogeneous kinetics of the reactions of nitrogen oxides – by-products in manufacturing of nitric acid and mainly automobile exhaust gases. Due to novel equipment free radicals and the mechanisms of their generation was studied. In the “Řež part” boron topics were successfully developed from the synthesis of of novel architectures, their identification and characterisation to the study by theoretical chemistry tools, chemistry of aluminium hydrides was further developed and successes were achieved with syntheses of ferric oxides.
Research topics, which did not brought high-quality results, were left off after 1989. In 1990 and 1993 the number of employees was decreased by nearly a half. During 1990s and 2000s technical infrastructure of the institute has improved considerably. Institute acquired modern equipment for X-ray diffractometry, NMR, electron microscopy, spectral methods including time-resolved techniques, chromatography. Among the topics the materials chemistry and practical applications has been increasingly accented. Joint laboratories with Czech universities have been established. In 1998 the institute has moved to newly reconstructed buildings in the research campus in Řež.