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Saturday, January 6 • 11:30am - 12:20pm
Frontier Science: Molecular Cages - The Hole Story T139

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Porous materials are important in applications such as separations and gas storage, for example, the capture of greenhouse gases or the removal of harmful contaminants. Our research is centred around one class of these - porous organic cages. These cages are individual molecules containing an internal, permanent hole which is accessible through windows. Unlike other porous materials which are often large frameworks, the individual nature of these cages makes them soluble. The fact that these cages are soluble means that we can direct their assembly into larger 3D structures, and by changing their shape, we can also change the assembled structure - like molecular Lego! This assembly forms connected channels, making the materials porous - in fact, as little as one gram of cage can have the same surface area of 7 tennis courts! Using examples from our research, we will show how these cages can be computationally designed, how they are made, and how they can be used in a range of real-world applications. For example, we are investigating the use of our cages in the capture and separation of gases (for example xenon, which is used in medical imaging and anaesthesia, and hazardous radioisotopes which can be released into the environment via nuclear accidents), and porous liquids - a new counter-intuitive material comprising a liquid with holes! We can also modify our cages for the removal of formaldehyde which causes cancer, leukaemia, asthma and reproductive problems.

avatar for University of Liverpool

University of Liverpool

University of Liverpool

avatar for Dr Becky Greenaway

Dr Becky Greenaway

University of Liverpool

Saturday January 6, 2018 11:30am - 12:20pm GMT