Ordering molecules in porous materials
What is it about?
This review discusses the organization of molecules or nanoparticles inside porous host materials. The guest species, driven by interactions with themselves and with the host matrix, form regular structures inside pores, cavities, or channels of molecular size. The resulting compounds have peculiar optical and electronic properties, which are exploited in various applications. For example, luminescent silver nanoclusters or dye molecules can be incorporated into zeolites or metal organic frameworks, leading to applications in solar cells, catalysis, sensing and photonics. There are many possible ways to produce these organized "host-guest" materials, which have been successfully tested in actual devices as well.
Why is it important?
We use porous matrices – zeolites, mesoporous materials, metal organic frameworks – to organize molecules and produce technologically relevant materials. How can we improve the ordering of the molecules and the performances of the materials? Here, mineral science can help. Many minerals have regular porous structures, which contain organized assemblies of simple molecules. These assemblies are surprisingly resistant to high temperatures or high pressures. Understanding why these natural architectures are so stable may give us hints for designing new robust host-guest materials.
The following have contributed to this page: Gloria Tabacchi
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