Straight to the Mesopore: Special Issue on Functional Porous Materials

Straight to the Mesopore: Special Issue on Functional Porous Materials

Author: Lois O'Leary

Functionalized porous materials (FPMs) represent a rapidly expanding stronghold in chemistry and materials science that covers terrain from optics to sensing, drug delivery to adsorption and catalysis.

With their large surface area and open pore structure, mesoporous materials are much more than just catalyst supports. Incorporation of the active phase into the mesoporous structure itself provides catalysts with improved dispersion and minimal pore blocking. Periodic mesoporous organosilicas (PMOs), for example, have a broad catalytic résumé including acid and solid-base catalysis, aminations and photocatalysis, for example, by a rhenium(I)-incorporated PMO acting as a light-harvesting antenna to enhance CO2 reduction. In addition, hierarchical zeolite structures act as commercial fluid catalytic cracking catalysts, overcoming the major diffusion limitations of zeolites.

The vast rainbow of tunable mesoporous templates are synthesized by using surfactants to provide precise pore-size distribution. The design of FPMs parallels that of enzymes, nature’s catalysts, with their optimized 3D structure and chemical functionality.

The Special Issue on FPMs in ChemCatChem, compiled by Javier Garcia Martinez, University of Alicante, Spain, and Rafael Luque, Universidad de Córdoba, Spain, presents new research and Reviews on FPMs and their synthetic strategies for the incorporation of chemical functionalities in mesoporous materials, their characterization, and (sometimes surprising) examples of their use in benchmark chemical reactions.

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