Environmental science and security

Porous architectures can be put to the service of the environment and security for a cleaner, healthier and safer world.

The development of porous systems, called hierarchical systems, structured by the interweaving of porous materials at different scales, could indeed lead to a true technological innovation and result in a significant and lasting improvement of the safety and environment conditions of the citizen .

This means, for example, purifying the air, decontaminating water or soil more efficiently.

Materials with a hierarchical structure starting from porous composites and nanoparticles should be able to capture the volatile organic compounds in the air in an ultra-selective manner and then to transform them into valuable molecules under the action of visible light.

Beyond this, these structured porous systems could find applications in the controlled release of agronomic products, isolation, transport of gas or charged species, fluid capture or separation or (bio) catalysis, among others .

For this, the first challenge concerns the genesis of new porous objects that are more powerful and durable, thanks to better control of their composition and microscopic properties.

This involves going over important locks:

  • how to make / integrate these objects into devices while maintaining their intrinsic performance
  • starting from economical and sustainable materials,
  • by processes which make it possible both to create hierarchical porous structures and to prepare them,
  • integrating them into original applicative devices.

Technologies using visible or invisible light could also benefit from these new porous systems. Improving the efficiency of light sources, replacing toxic and unstable organic pigments, or developing all-optical information processing in telecommunications are possible prospects thanks to the porous. Many other applications in photonics are still concepts. Switching to real materials can only be done by coupling the techniques of ascending chemistry with economical production processes and producing the least possible amount of waste.

Finally, methods of soil self-decontamination may emerge from the rapprochement between biologists and material specialists, as well as concepts of highly sensitive and selective biological sensors, allowing to identify and quantify very quickly a biological or chemical element often present in very small quantities in a complex mixture.