Universiteit Leiden

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Reticular Chemistry: The Journey to Beautiful and Functional Porous Crystals

  • Professor Omar M. Yaghi
8 november 2017
Academy Building
Rapenburg 73
2311 GJ Leiden
Omar Yaghi
Professor Omar Yaghi

This talk will center on the discovery and the development of a new field of chemistry over the past 25 years  that is both beautiful in its creation and important in many clean energy applications. Professor Yaghi will also discuss using this new chemistry as a platform to create centers of research in foundational sciences in various countries to address global problems and to build a culture of science, and most of all to give everyone an opportunity. Professor Yaghi's will be suitable for a larger audience.

Addressing society's challenges with reticular chemistry

The discovery of porous metal-organic frameworks in the mid-1990's and covalent organic frameworks in 2005 have captured the imagination of scientists worldwide and started a revolution in the art and science of building chemical structures and stitching them on the atomic level. These porous 'sponges' have firmly placed this new field, reticular chemistry, at the forefront of science for their beauty and their many applications in addressing society's challenges. Such materials have surface areas of up to 10,000 meter square per gram (equivalent to an entire football field for each gram) and thus capable of trapping carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and power plants, converting carbon dioxide to clean fuels, harvesting water from dry air for drinking, storing natural gas or hydrogen for automobile fueling, performing highly selective catalytic conversions, and functioning as supercapacitors, to mention a few. The sophistication and flexibility with which these frameworks can be designed and made has also led to the development of atomically woven materials and sequence dependent materials, thereby, giving access to forms of matter in which chemical information can be encoded to provide specific properties as found in natural systems. Another important impact of reticular chemistry has been in its global reach, where emerging scholars worldwide have the opportunity to imagine and realize their dreams in laboratories and centers of research that we have established around the globe in over a dozen countries and more than one hundred affiliated institutions.