Updated classification of porous liquids. Image taken from Bennett et al, Nat. Mater., 2021. Individual images are referenced in the paper.

Porous materials contain regions of empty space into which guest molecules can be selectively adsorbed and sometimes chemically transformed. This has made them useful in both industrial and domestic applications, ranging from gas separation, energy storage and ion exchange to heterogeneous catalysis and green chemistry. Porous materials are often ordered (crystalline) solids. Order—or uniformity—is frequently held to be advantageous, or even pivotal, to our ability to engineer useful properties in a rational way.

One of our research strands is to highlight the growing evidence that topological disorder can be useful in creating alternative properties in porous materials. In particular, we have highlighted here several concepts for the creation of novel porous liquids.

Selected References

Melt-quenched porous organic cage glasses.

M. C. Brand, F. Greenwell, R. Clowes, B. D. Egleston, A. Kai, A. I. Cooper,* T. D. Bennett* and R. L. Greenaway,* J. Mat. Chem. A., 2021, 8, 19807-19816.

Coordination cages as permanently porous ionic liquids.

L. Ma, A. B. Grommet, C. J. E. Haynes, A. Walczak, C. C. Parkins, L. Longley, A. Tron, T. D. Bennett* and J. R. Nitschke*, Nat. Chem., 2020, 12, 270-275.

The changing state of porous materials.

T. D. Bennett*, François-Xavier Coudert*, S. L. James* and A. I. Cooper*, Nat. Mater.,2021, 20, 1179–1187