Functional Porous Materials based on switchable molecular units

Post-doctoral allowance, 12 month, AAP 2017-1

Team: ERMMES, Institut Parisien de Chimie Moléculaire (IPCM)

Project leader : Rodrigue Lescouëzec

Abstract :

The goal of this project is to create a new class of porous materials through a soft-chemistry approach (with reaction near room temperature and at atmospheric pressure), based on the assembly of tailored molecular complexes. More specifically, the porous materials that we target will be able to interact with their surrounding and emit specific signals in response to an external stimulus. The external stimulus could be a chemical one, such as the insertion of a molecule into the porous material, or it could be a physical perturbation, for example a change in temperature, pressure, an electrical field, etc. Under these external perturbations, the designed materials will undergo a change in their electronic properties, which will induce easy detectable change of colour or change in the magnetic properties. These materials will thus be able to act as sensor, for example for the detection of small molecules or ions.

The synthetic strategy developed in this project is based on the controlled assembly of preformed molecular building units and organic connectors. The molecular building units are polymetallic cages, which are able to answer to various external stimuli by a drastic change in their physical properties (optical, magnetic, etc.) and which are also able to trap cations (such as radioactive Cs+ or toxic Tl+ ions). These units will thus confer to the final materials their switchable properties. The organic connectors will allow the control of the tri-dimensional architecture the final materials. The connectors can be flexible or rigid, long or short, and they thus allow the tuning of the materials porosity and the tuning of their mechanic properties.

Finally, the synthetic approaches will be adapted in order to prepare the materials as nanoparticles. Our goal here is to investigate the influence of the size of the particles on the physical properties of the material in order to optimize their behaviour as a sensor.

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