Microporous materials based on Organic Molecules of Intrinsic Microporosity

Lead Research Organisation: Cardiff University
Department Name: Chemistry


It will be established that rigid organic molecules of concave shapes pack space very inefficiently resulting in microporous materials. This concept will be explored by linking components of well-defined shape (trigonal, cruciform, tetrahedral and octahedral) via fused rings to prepare Organic Molecules of Intrinsic Microporosity (OMIMs), which are predicted to possess a unique combination of properties (microporosity, tailorability, homogenenity, solubility in organic solvents, relatively small molecular size, fluorescence, etc.). The concept will be extended to the preparation of dendrimers derived from similar conponents and assembled using the same chemistry. It is anticipated that some of these discrete, highly defined, molecules will form organic microporous materials of surface areas in excess of 1000 m2/g as determined by gas adsorption. A network of collaborators will explore the physical properties of the OMIMs and assess their potential for a number of applications.

Planned Impact

We propose a focused, fundamental programme of research with the specific objective of preparing new organic materials, OMIMs, which we anticipate will have a major scientific impact and, potentially, commercial impact, due to their combination of anticipated properties (microporosity, tailorability, homogeneity, solubility in organic solvents, relatively small molecular size, fluorescence, etc.). The impact of the Polymers of Intrinsic Microporosity (PIMs: Section IB) has helped the PI to develop an extensive network of interdisciplinary collaborations, currently funded by several consortium grants, which will allow the properties and potential applications of the OMIMs to be explored fully. It should be noted that the first EPSRC grant on PIMs was awarded in 1999 and, therefore, it has taken a full decade from the initial concept to the agreement of the first commercial license (by The University of Manchester IP division, UMIP). In addition, the ultimate commercial applications were not those that were anticipated during the initial development of the PIMs. However, the PI's experience in this process and the resulting academic and industrial contacts, described in the full Impact Plan, will hopefully facilitate more rapid commercial development should the OMIMs ultimately justify a similar transfer of technology. The Research and Contracts Division of Cardiff University will advise and assist with the protection of IP generated from the proposed research in collaboration with Fusion the University's technology transfer partners.


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Bezzu C (2012) Synthesis and crystal structure of a novel phthalocyanine-calixarene conjugate in Journal of Porphyrins and Phthalocyanines

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McKeown N (2010) Nanoporous molecular crystals in Journal of Materials Chemistry

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Mughal S (2013) The tetratriptycenoporphyrazines revisited in Journal of Porphyrins and Phthalocyanines

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Short R (2011) Hexaphenylbenzene-based polymers of intrinsic microporosity. in Chemical communications (Cambridge, England)

Description We prepared small molecules that behave as microporous materials as planned. A number of high quality papers resulted from this research.
Exploitation Route Time will tell.
Sectors Chemicals,Energy