Gérard Férey (1941– 2017)

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  • Author: ChemViews Magazine
  • Published Date: 21 August 2017
  • Copyright: Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA
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Professor Emeritus Gérard Férey, France, passed away on August 19, 2017. Professor Férey 's research focused on the physical chemistry of solids and materials, in particular on the crystal chemistry of inorganic fluorides and on porous solids.


Gérard Férey was born 1941 in Bréhal, France. He founded the Chemistry Department of the Institut Universitaire de Technologies in Le Mans, France, in 1968, and was at the Université du Maine in Le Mans. In 1977, he became a professor at the University of Paris VI, France. From 1981 to 1996, he was a professor in Le Mans and then at the University of Versailles-Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines (UVSQ), Versailles, France, where he founded the Institut Lavoisier, which is supported by the UVSQ and the CNRS. From 1988 to 1992, he was also Director of the Department of Chemistry at CNRS.

Férey's research initially dealt with the chemistry of inorganic fluorides. He developed new porous inorganic and hybrid materials with applications, for example, in medicine, petrochemistry, for hydrogen storage in energy engineering, or the storage of carbon dioxide to reduce the greenhouse effect. He combined chemical experiments with simulations to predict the properties of porous materials. In 2007, he developed MIL 101 (material of the Institute Lavoisier Nr.101). With its 3.5 nm pores in one cubic meter, MIL can store 400 m³ of carbon dioxide at 25 °C; this was a record. In 2007, he and his group developed a substance (trivalent metal dicarboxylates) which, with a solvent, more than quadrupled its volume and later returned to the initial state.


Among other honors, Férey received the CNRS Gold medal, the highest French scientific distinction, in 2010. He was a member of the French Academy of Sciences, and Vice-President of the Société Chimique de France (SCF), in 2007. He is one of the founders of the initiative Ambition Chimie (Chemistry Ambition), a group aiming at making chemistry more popular in the public.


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