Making links in Liverpool

I’ve just given a talk at Liverpool University Chemistry Department, where I’ve been visiting Prof. Andy Cooper’s group for the last 6 weeks. They make, amongst other things, some fascinating porous materials made solely from organic molecules linked together – like MOFs without the metals! Check out some of their recent papers if you’re interested:

Trapping virtual pores in molecular crystals

Structure prediction of porous organic crystals

In Liverpool I’ve been studying the formation process of some of them, in order to work out how and why they might crystallize into one form over another. This all depends on a complex interplay between the molecules themselves and the solvent that surrounds them and in some cases gets trapped inside the pores. Different crystalline forms can have different pores, or no pores at all, which radically affects their performance as gas storage, separation and sensing materials. Hopefully my research on their awesome Panalytical and Rigaku diffractometers will help to shed light on some of this…

Rigaku single crystal diffractometer, Liverpool Panalytical powder diffractometer, Liverpool

I’ve got to say how fantastic it’s been to work here and learn from Andy’s group. They are doing some really interesting work and have been extremely helpful, super-friendly and great fun to be around 🙂

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